The International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony was organized by the European Parliament, on January 24th 2018, with the support of the European Jewish Congress was chaired by Mrs Mairead McGuinness, First Vice-president of the European Parliament and was held in presence of Mrs Livia Jaroka, Vice-president of the European Parliament and rapporteur to the European Union on the European strategy with regard to Roms, Mr Moshe Kantor,  President of the European Jewish Congress, Mr Yuli Edelstein, President of the Knesset, Chief Rabbi Guigui, representing the conference of European rabbis, holocaust survivors from the Jewish community and from the Rom community, European members of the Parliament and representatives of Jewish organizations. 

Serge Dahan, President of B’nai B’rith Europe, Thomas Kraus, President of the Rebirth Czech Republic Lodge, member of BBE Executive committee and the Director of the Brussels office represented B’nai B’rith Europe at this ceremony.

Mrs. Mairead McGuinness, First Vice-President of the European Parliament, emphasized the importance of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th, date of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp and the resolution of the United Nations named

“Memory of the Holocaust”, which encourages States to promote educational projects and to protect memory places related to the Holocaust. This resolution condemns any attempt of holocaust denial or religious intolerance and begins to promote a program on the United Nations level in order to perpetuate the Holocaust memory and to prevent that such an event repeats itself.

Mairead McGuinness expressed her intention to personally visit Auschwitz in the course of this year. She indicated that each citizen should make this journey to guarantee that such a crime against humanity does not repeat. 

Moshe Kantor, European Jewish Congress President, declared that “while personal memories short, our political memory and the lessons that the political class of Europe draws from the Holocaust must remain”.

“The European Union urgently needs to demonstrate that it will tirelessly defend pluralism and the rule of law” Mr Kantor continued.

Yuli Edelstein, representing the State of Israel, President of Knesset, denounced the contradictory messages of the European Parliament, in particular for failing to condemn, during their last trip to Tehran, the Iranian cartoon contest on the holocaust.  

Mr. Edelstein asked what did we learn from the holocaust if synagogues require today a protection around the clock, if jews do not carry the kippah and star of David out of fear of being attacked.

Kaddish recited by Chief Rabbi Guigui followed by a minute of silence closed the ceremony in memory of victims of the Holocaust.