European Jewish Congress
EJC joins with European Parliament to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Events
EJC joins with European Parliament to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The European Jewish Congress co-hosted a commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 22 in the European Parliament, the first time the event has been placed on the official calendar of the European institutions.

Addressing the emotional gathering under the patronage of European Parliament President Martin Schulz and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and in the presence of ambassadors, MEPs and religious dignitaries as well as leaders of Europe's Jewish communities,  EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor drew parallels between the period before the Second World War and the current times in Europe today where Europe refused to heed the warnings of the rise of racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance.

“I am warning Europe again, wake up immediately and limit your tolerance to racism and anti-Semitism,” Dr. Kantor said, citing a 50 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in France in 2012 and political gains by two virulently anti-Semitic parties: Golden Dawn in Greece and Jobbik in Hungary.

These developments, as well as “Iran’s determined advance toward obtaining and delivering nuclear weapons,” made 2013 “a time of gathering storm clouds” for Jews, he added.

Over the past seven years, the European Parliament has hosted annual ceremonies organized by Jewish groups to commemorate the Jan. 27 Holocaust Memorial Day, the day in 1945 that Russian troops liberated Auschwitz.

The event was also addressed by EU Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič and Alan Shatter, Minister of Justice of Ireland, representing the EU's rotating presidency.

A particularly poignant speech was made by Dr Samuel Pisar, an Auschwitz survivor and renowned author and international lawyer, who recollected his time in the camps and spoke movingly about the lessons of the Shoah.

Responding to Dr. Kantor, EP President Martin Schulz acknowledged that Jewish people are currently living in fear in many parts of Europe but that the European Union was established “on the lessons of Auschwitz” as a framework for “mutual control to avoid one member passing uncontrollably in a dangerous direction.”

The event was also addressed Prof Władysław Bartoszewski, the Polish Minister Plenipotentiary for International Dialogue and an honorary citizen of the State of Israel.

Musical accompaniment was provided by renowned Roma violinist Roby Lakatos and Tenor Shai Abramson.

The event closed with reminiscences by two Holocaust survivors Bat Sheva Dagan and Jehuda Widawski with the latter reciting the closing kaddish, an incredibly moving conclusion to the commemoration.

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Life in Israel
  • First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
    Construction of the first fully disabled-accessible synagogue in Jerusalem is about to be finished, giving disabled worshipers easy access to the compound, with comfortable seating arrangements for wheelchair-bound visitors, Braille bibles and more.

    On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
  • Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
    A poll of Israeli Arabs has found that sixty percent surveyed said they had a favourable view of the state, while 37% said their view was unfavourable.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
  • Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
    Trade between Israel and Russia has grown this year by 25 percent, officials from both countries revealed, amid complications with other Russian trading partners.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
  • Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
    The Israel Innovation Authority aims to double the number of high-tech workers in the country over the next decade, while encouraging companies in older industry to use more technology and become more innovative, the authority said in its annual report released on Sunday.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
  • 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
    A shipment of 20,000 date palm fronds were transported on Monday from the Gaza Strip to Israel where they were to be sold for use in a traditional Jewish religious ritual during the coming Sukkot holiday, the Defence Ministry said.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
  • Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
    The Israeli intelligence community has shared information with other countries over the past two years that has helped thwart dozens of terror attacks about to be perpetrated by Islamists who were in contact with members of Islamic State and Middle Eastern factions identified with Al-Qaida.

    On Thursday, September 28, 2017 Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
  • IDF declares war on smoking
    IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot has approved new measures to combat smoking in the military after new data revealed smoking during army service rose by 40 percent.

    On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 IDF declares war on smoking
  • Thousands take part in race commemorating fallen Druze police officers
    Thousands of participants took part on Friday in a race to commemorate the 421 Druze fighters who fell in all of Israel's battles and terror attacks.

    On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Thousands take part in race commemorating fallen Druze police officers
  • Tamar and Mohammed top Israel's baby name list
    The most popular baby names in Israel over the past year were Tamar for girls and Mohammad for boys, the two favourites remaining at the top of their lists for the third consecutive year, according to figures released on Sunday by the Interior Ministry.

    On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Tamar and Mohammed top Israel's baby name list
  • Syrians express gratitude for Israeli field hospitals
    Dozens of Syrian civilians have written letters of gratitude to Israel and the IDF for establishing field hospitals on its northern border which provided, and continue to provide, medical care to numerous victims wounded in the country's ongoing violent civil war.

    On Thursday, September 14, 2017 Syrians express gratitude for Israeli field hospitals
President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism