As we mark seventy-five years since the end of the Holocaust, the most horrific tragedy in human history, a new wave of antisemitism unseen since World War II poses an existential threat to European Jewry. Today, antisemitic incidents have hit record highs in countries such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Jewish citizens again do not feel safe on European streets, with 38% considering emigrating because of antisemitism. Moreover, a third of Europeans knows only ‘a little’ or ‘nothing at all’ about the Holocaust. In these times of upheaval, commemorating the Holocaust and emphasising the urgency of joining forces against antisemitism and racism is of crucial importance. More than ever, the world cannot afford to forget where hatred and extremism can lead. More than ever, world leaders must renew their commitment to stand up against antisemitism and prejudice and to ensure that such tragedy never happens again.
The Fifth World Holocaust Forum
23 January 2020
Mr. Reuven Rivlin
Yad Vashem Directorate
Yad Vashem Council
Yad Vashem Council
The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
Where today Jews are attacked, tomorrow every citizen could become a target. As history teaches us, extremists test out their force first on Jews as a prelude to attacks on the entire population. The fight against extremism should therefore be carried out not only for the sake of the Jewish people, but for the well-being and survival of humanity.
Society must act immediately to protect itself, including its Jewish citizens, or it will be too late. More than seventy years after the end of WWII, our societies are no longer immune to extremism. We must fully mobilise and equip ourselves to fight this scourge.
President of World Holocaust Forum Foundation
President of European Jewish Congress
Chancellor of Yad Vashem Council
THE WORLD HOLOCAUST REMEBRANCE CENTER