McGuinness leads Holocaust commemoration at European Parliament
2018-02-01 15:48:00 -


By Chinedu Onyejelem

As the number of Holocaust survivors continue to decline, young people across the world need to speak about that evil to make sure it does not happen again.


That was the message from Mairead McGuinness during a special event to mark International Holocaust Commemoration Day on 27 January at the European Parliament in Brussels.


The UN day recognises the date in 1945 when the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp was liberated by allied forces.


“The European project is at its root a project of peace and reconciliation, of seeking forgiveness for the evils committed on our continent in those terrible years,” said the MEP for Midlands-North West and first vice president of the European Parliament.


“Seven decades after the barbarity of the Second World War and the Holocaust, we have few survivors still with us to speak of the terrible crimes committed against them, and against humanity. 


“This is now the duty of new generations. They must work to keep the memory of the victims alive and honour them by ensuring that it can never happen again.”


McGuinness, who has responsibility for the European Parliament’s dialogue with religious and non-confessional organisations, added: “The Holocaust is an unparalleled crime against humanity that was carefully planned and executed by the Nazis over years. Jews call the events of this period The Shoah. One-third of the world’s Jewish people were murdered. 


“As the UN resolution points out, countless members of other minorities suffered a similar fate. This year, the parliament’s ceremony was preceded by the opening of an exhibition on the Roma Holocaust.”


Representatives at the Brussels commemoration included Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress which represents Jewish communities across the EU and beyond, and Yuli Edelstein, speaker of the Knesset in Israeli, who courted controversy with comments of double standards among European countries accusing Israel of war crimes against Palestinians.


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