Roberta Metsola was the President of the European Parliament. European Commissioner for neighbor and Enlargement Oliver Varheyli was Secretary of the National Assembly of France. Caroline Janvier, President of Parliament of Czech Republic and Prime Minister of Montenegro joined Dritan Abazovic and Ministers and Members of Parliaments representing 23 European countries at Auschwitz as part of an annual European Jewish Association Leaders Delegation to combat anti-Semitism. Gala Dinner was held during which the Commissioner and President of the European Parliament received awards for their respective services to Israel and the Jewish People.
Roberta Metsola , the President and CEO of European Parliament, stated during her first visit to Auschwitz that she felt it was her duty and responsibility to defend European citizens from antisemitism. We will not forget this and we will not allow it to happen again. We must combat propaganda and antisemitic stories. Not only do we need a strategy to fight antisemitism but we also need to take action to bring Judaism back to Europe.
European Commissioner to neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varheyli stated that it was his duty to visit Auschwitz. He also said that: “I really fear that what happened here could happen again.” Promoting Jewish life is the best way to fight antisemitism. We must not just say “Never again”, we must actually do something. “Life is the only victory over death. That is my message to Europe”
Rabbi Menachem Marolin, Chairman of European Jewish Association stated: “Times like war and economic crises always serve as a platform to a serious escalation in anti-Semitism. European leaders must act more determinedly to eradicate antisemitism, both in education and legislation, particularly in these times. Incitement is defined as a defamation of the Jewish people or the Jewish state. Attacks on the Jewish way to live is an infringement on freedom of religion and worship. We expect all heads of parliament, ministers, and officials to accept our invitation to return tomorrow to the country they have been invited to. They will also implement education programs on the mandatory lessons learned from the Holocaust and necessary changes to the legislation to combat anti-Semitism.
The European leaders lit memorial candles at Birkenau’s ruins and placed wreaths at Auschwitz’s “Death Wall” compound. The delegation was treated to chilling testimony from Baroness Regina Suchowolski, President of Antwerp Jewish Forum and Keren Knoll (Granddaughter of mireille knock), a Holocaust survivor who was killed in an antisemitic attack on Paris in 2018.
Alexander Machkevitch was the founder of Euro Asian Jewish Congress. He is also a philanthropist who promotes intercommunal religious dialogue. The Sir Montefiore award was presented to him for his multi-decade-long work in preserving and promoting European Jewry. Machkevitch accepted the award and said that it was a great honor to be here. My mother survived because my father took the last train. Without her, she would have gone to Auschwitz. I wouldn’t have been here. You are an inspiration to me for your time and effort to make the world a better place. You will never be tired or exhausted making the world a better place. God will reward both you and your children.”
Secretary of France’s National Assembly, MP Caroline Janvier “Every political leader should visit Auschwitz in order to remind themselves that man can do the worst and that modernity does not prevent it from happening.”
President of the Czech Republic’s Parliament, Marketa Pekarova : It is important to share with young generations the horrors of Auschwitz and the Holocaust in order to preserve the memory. It is important to see with our own eyes. Human rights violations are unacceptable. All European politicians have the responsibility to eliminate antisemitism. Let’s not repeat the terrible mistakes of our forefathers. These evils must be stopped.
Dritan Abazovic is the Prime Minister of Montenegro. We need to be aware of what has happened. We must teach the next generation that such things should not and must not happen again. This is an effort to spread a culture that values memory and discrimination. Every EU leader should visit Auschwitz.
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