NEWS - News of B'nai B'rith

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Opening Ceremony of the exhibition "Holocaust in Europe"

European Commission, Brussels, 27 January 2015


B'nai B'rith Europe president, Erika van Gelder, attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition "Holocaust in Europe", held by the European Commission on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The exhibition was developed by the Memorial de la Shoah, Paris. The exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of the Holocaust in Europe beginning with the Nazi takeover to the Nuremberg trials. It reconstructs, step by step, the different stages of persecution of European Jews, from the first exclusionary measures to the "Final Solution".
The participants were welcomed by the Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs.
The opening speeches were by Dimitris Avramopoulos, member of the European Commission for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship and by Ronen Gil-Or, Deputy Head of Israel Mission to the European Union.

We listened to the testimonies of two Auschwitz survivors: Dagmar Lieblova (Czech Republic), President of the Terezin initiative and Elie Buzyn (formally from Poland, living in France). Moderator, Bruno Boyer from Memorial de la Shoah.
Between the speeches and testimonies we listened to music performed by the Forum Voix Etouffees, Strasbourg (Erminie Blondel, soprano, Carole Villiaumey, piano). The Forum Voix Etouffees promotes music of composers banned under European dictatorships, especially during the Nazi regime. The music we heard was composed: by Szymon Laks, Polish Jew, composer and violinist who became the head of the prisoners' orchestra in Auschwitz-Birkenau; Victor Ullmann, Austrian Jew, composer, killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz; Norbert Glanzberg, Jewish, Polish- born French composer of film music and some songs for Edith Piaf; Ilse Weber, Jewish poet from Moravia who wrote songs and theatre pieces for children. She was killed together with her son in the gas chamber in Auschwitz.

Erika van Gelder