Today (27 January), marks the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. To remember the millions of of Jewish women, men and children as well as all other victims murdered by the Nazi regime, the Commission, for the first time, will illuminate its headquarters, the Berlaymont building, with #WeRemember, joining a global campaign co-organised by the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO in memory of the victims of the Shoah.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The Holocaust was a European disaster. Antisemitism led to this disaster. Antisemitism dehumanizes the Jewish people. In Nazi Germany, this dehumanization opened the door to the Shoah. We must never forget. The heart of our action is to ensure that Jews across Europe can live their lives in accordance with their religious and cultural traditions. Because Europe can only prosper when its Jewish communities prosper, too. Because Jewish life is an integral part of Europe’s history and of Europe’s future.”
The full statement is available online. A video message by President von der Leyen for the European Jewish Congress will be available here this afternoon. Tomorrow, President von der Leyen will also participate at the European Parliament’s commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, responsible for the fight against antisemitism in the Commission, will attend the commemoration ceremony organised by the Athens Jewish Community and will receive an award in recognition of the contribution of the recently adopted EU strategy to combating antisemitism in Europe.
The vice president will also address online commemoration events organised by the French Presidency of the Council and major Jewish organisations. To raise awareness and counter Holocaust distortion, the Commission continues to support the campaign #ProtectTheFacts together with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), UNESCO and the UN.
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