Prime Minister Ludovic Orban pays an official visit to Poland on Monday, to participate in the commemorative ceremonies devoted to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration and extermination camp, the Government’s Press Office informs.
Thus, the Prime Minister will participate in the official ceremony, which will take place in front of the former concentration camp Auschwitz II – the Gate of Death. Polish President Andrzej Duda, “The Pillars of Remembrance” representative Ronald S. Lauder and Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Piotr Mateusz Andrzej Cywinski will deliver speeches and then there will take place the ecumenical prayer ceremony.
Subsequently, Ludovic Orban will participate in the commemorative march, candle lighting and the tribute paid to the victims of Fascism at the International Monument of Birkenau.
Romania must remain active in the process of preserving and completing the Holocaust memory
Romania, in and of itself, but also as a member state of the European Union, promotes tolerance between people, non-discrimination and peace, remaining active in the process of preserving and completing the Holocaust memory, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said in a message conveyed on Monday, on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“It is already the second decade in which the entire world commemorates the millions of Holocaust victims, in a necessary exercise of remembrance, compassion and the preservation of an awakened conscience. Anyone browsing the pages of that terrible disaster in the rather recent history, the Holocaust, cannot but remain shaken by the horrors that occurred, by the size of the hate crime gear, the lack of reaction of the people, institutions and states. They cannot but reflect on the consequences brought about by the crises in society and the evil produced by the slumber of reason,” says Ludovic Orban.
The prime minister recalls that “six million Jews, representing two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population, and several million members of other nationalities considered ‘impure’ by the Nazi regime lost their lives in ghettos and camps, on the way to them, or simply killed in the street, between 1941 – 1945, victims of a racist ideology, myths and a tendency to find the scapegoat.”
“The restoration of the truth is due in particular to the members of the Jewish community, many of them survivors of the Nazi camps and having become prominent figures of the humanist militancy, joined by intellectuals, artists and human activists worldwide, in a common effort to prevent the recurrence, ever, of similar acts of extinction of the peoples. Prestigious memorial institutions have been founded, books have been written, art works and events have been created, values have been reconsidered from the perspective of the defence of human rights and human dignity,” the prime minister said.
Orban stresses that today, 75 years after the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, “the world can be considered united in solidarity in the fight against anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and intolerance, which becomes yet again a major concern in the context of regional conflicts exclusively based on ethnic resentments and the emergence of new extremist tendencies.”
“Romania, in and of itself, but also as a member state of the European Union, promotes tolerance among people, non-discrimination and peace, remaining active in the process of preserving and completing the memory of the Holocaust. Because we must not forget those who were humiliated, tortured and killed by hatred, nor those who protected lives at the risk of their own life, thus saving the idea of humanity. I convey my full compassion for the victims of the Holocaust during World War II and I hope that humanity will have the ability to learn from the great mistakes of its history,” the head of the Executive shows.
In Bucharest and other places across Romania, the victims of the Holocaust have been commemorated these days through various religious and secular ceremonies, symposiums, film galas and exhibitions.
Last week, president Klaus Iohannis was one of the almost 50 heads of state and government that participated in Israel in the Fifth World Holocaust Forum. He also held talks with his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin, whom he assured that Romania would continue to support the preservation of the memory of the Holocaust, to fight anti-Semitism, prevent discrimination and any form of violence. Romania’s participation in the event was part of a string of actions undertaken by the Romanian state to promote the European values, tolerance and the observance of the fundamental rights and freedoms, the Romanian Presidential Administration has said.
Israel’s Ambassador: In Europe, anti-Semitism is part of society, governments must fight against it
Ambassador of the State of Israel David Saranga said that anti-Semitism, xenophobia, racism are part of the society in Europe and each government must fight against them.
“We live in a hard era, we see here and throughout Europe that anti-Semitism, xenophobia, racism are part of the society. Each government must fight against the respective phenomena. (…) The European values don’t go hand in hand with anti-Semitism or with xenophobia,” Saranga said at a ceremony organised by the Capital’s Sector 6 hall at the Memorial of the Holocaust to mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, which was followed by a symposium at the Palace of Parliament.
Saranga brought to mind that 27 January is the day when the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was liberated. “We must think that the Holocaust took place all over Europe. Before WWII, 800,000 Jews lived on Romanian soil. Half of them, 400,000 Jews were killed here, in Romania. There is no future without a past and memory is an important part of the past. (…) The Romanian Government does a lot to keep memory alive,” the Ambassador said, according to Agerpres.
He brought to mind that President Klaus Iohannis paid a visit to Israel last week, alongside over 40 heads of state to commemorate the Holocaust Day.
In Saranga’s opinion, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban’s presence in Auschwitz on Monday, together with Israel’s President and several other dignitaries, shows Romania has assumed its responsibility and has the obligation to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.