European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor has warned that with the fading of direct Holocaust memory, Europe is no longer immune from antisemitism. Dr. Kantor was speaking at the European Parliament in a ceremony marking International Holocaust Commemoration Day.
“The direct memory of the Shoah had immunized European society from the worst manifestations of antisemitism,” said Dr. Kantor. “Without the direct memory of Holocaust survivors we forget and all taboos are broken.”
The European International Holocaust Commemoration Day event was attended by leading European Union officials, leaders of Europe’s Jewish communities and diplomats.
Keynote addresses were delivered at the event by First Vice President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness and EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor.
For the first time, this year’s commemoration marked both the Holocaust of six million Jews and the Genocide of Roma populations at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators.
In his speech, Dr. Kantor noted the discrimination still faced by Roma, Homosexuals and the disabled, all of whom were targeted by the Nazis, still within living memory.
“The European Union urgently needs to demonstrate that it will tirelessly defend pluralism and the rule of law.,” Dr. Kantor continued. “What was taboo must not become the norm again in Europe: Racist and antisemitic parties marching down the streets of our capitals and filling seats of our parliaments and governments must not return to the European continent.”
Other speeches at the event were given by Speaker of the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, Parliament Vice President and Rapporteur on EU Roma Strategy Lívia Járóka MEP and Rapporteur on Roma Fundamental Rights Soraya Post MEP.