“In this time of rising antisemitism, increasing polarisation and intolerance of others, the lessons of the Holocaust have seldom been more pressing or important” said EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, who initiated the memorial event.
EU leaders, ministers, members of the European Parliament, national parliamentarians ad other dignitaries, as well as Jewish leaders from across Europe, are to take part in a large online gathering to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day on the 27th January, organized by the Brussels-based advocacy group European Jewish Association (EJA).
International Holocaust Memorial Day marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau by Soviet troops on 27 January 1945. It was officially proclaimed, in November 2005, International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust by the United Nations General Assembly.
Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, the event to honour the memory of the millions that perished during one of the darkest periods oh European history, will be online.
Israel’s government will also be represented at ministerial level. The commemoration is also open to the public.
The Zoom commemoration will see senior political and diplomatic figures share their sympathies on this important day as well as sharing ideas and engaging in conversations with Jewish leaders from across the continent on the best ways of eradicating the scourge of antisemitism, as well as the increasing challenges posed by laws that impact Jewish life and practice such as kosher slaughter and circumcision.
EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, who initiated the online gathering said ahead of International Holocaust Memorial Day: “There are some days that transcend political or health crises, whose lesson from the past is too important to be passed by or ignored no matter what the circumstances. International Holocaust Memorial Day is such a day. Jewish life in Europe is currently assailed by a twin-threat: Covid inspired antisemitism that has seen a resurgence of some of the worst libels and tropes, and repeated attacks on Jewish life through laws that seek to target our practises. The echos of the past cannot be ignored.’’
“We were determined, despite an inability to meet in our usual way, at public events, in synagogues and in national parliaments, that a commemoration was not only necessary, but also in fact vital given the increasing polarisation in society, the intolerance towards others and the clear rise in antisemitism that the pandemic has exacerbated,’’Margolin he said, adding that ‘’the lessons of the Holocaust have seldom been more pressing or important.”
The online event, which is open to everyone and will be streamed live, starts at 2pm CET on the 27th January. Registration can be done at https://forms.gle/HBj4E1KqN1jsbgAb8