77 years after the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp on 27 January 1945, MEPs honoured the memory of victims of the Holocaust. Holocaust survivor Margot Friedländer, and Presidents Metsola, Michel and von der Leyen addressed MEPs at a special plenary sitting on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Opening the ceremony, EP President Roberta Metsola said: "United in diversity, we speak up against Holocaust deniers, against conspiracy myths, against disinformation and against violence of every kind that target and single out members of our communities. We will honour the legacy of the Holocaust victims. By never forgetting. By never being complacent. By always, always speaking up." In her speech, 100-year old Holocaust survivor Margot Friedländer spoke about how her mother and brother were killed in Auschwitz, and how she herself was caught and deported to the concentration camp of Theresienstadt, where she witnessed indescribable suffering but survived. In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the Holocaust Remembrance designated 27 January as the International Commemoration Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.
The Resolution urges every member nation of the UN to honour the memory of Holocaust victims and encourage the development of educational programs about Holocaust history, to prevent future acts of genocides. It calls for actively preserving Holocaust sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labour camps and prisons. A European legislative framework ensures protection from violence, discrimination and expressions of hostility motivated by antisemitism and criminalises Holocaust denial and distortion across Europe. Antisemitism appears today in many different forms and from all parts of society.