Dear President Kantor
On the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January, I would like to transmit through your good offices my solidarity with the European Jewish community for this commemoration.
As you will be participating in the 13th Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress in Jerusalem, which coincides with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, may I also convey my best wishes for the success of that important gathering.
The delegates of the World Jewish Congress will be visiting Yad Vashem on the occasion of Remembrance Day, and I recall very vividly my own visit to Yad Vashem as President of the European Parliament during my official visit to Israel in May 2007. Words fail me when I try to express the depth of the emotions which I experienced there. Those same emotions come to me again as I reflect on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
This day is one in which we in Europe must remind ourselves of the terrible, unparalleled suffering inflicted on the Jewish people. As a German, I am more than aware that this suffering was inflicted in the name of my own people. On behalf of the European Parliament, I pay homage to all the victims of the Shoah on this day of commemoration.
On this anniversary, we are also called upon to speak out clearly and reject any instances of anti-Semitism and intolerance in our own countries in our own time. The European Parliament has consistently taken a strong stance against racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. These are phenomena which have no place in our modern European community of values. They are a threat to our belief in a European Union whose cornerstone is respect for the fundamental dignity of each and every human being.
Remembering the Holocaust implies being resolute that the inhumanity of the Shoah must never be allowed to occur again. It is an opportunity to re-affirm our values and to commit to working together to rid our societies of hatred and intolerance.