Memory, Dignity and Justice.
January 27 marks the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Auschwitz
On 27 January 1945, the Red Army reached the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and liberated around 7,000 seriously ill survivors. Today, we honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism.
Jews, Christians, Sinti and Roma, people with disabilities, LGBTQI+ people, political dissidents, trade unionists as well as men and women of the resistance, scientists, artists, journalists, prisoners of war and deserters, forced labourers: millions of people were disenfranchised, persecuted, tortured and murdered under Nazi tyranny.
Millions of Germans and other Europeans participated in the Holocaust. Without their involvement, the genocide of the Jewish people in Europe would not have been possible. One of the deadliest things that neighbours, acquaintances, colleagues, and even friends could do was denounce Jews to Nazi German authorities. An unknown number chose to do so. Most often, individuals contributed to the Holocaust through inaction and indifference to the plight of their Jewish neighbours.
The scourge of anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe as the Far Right gets bolder and more dangerous on the streets and in the halls of government. In almost all national parliaments anti-Semitic agitation is spreading.
There are fewer and fewer remaining eyewitnesses; only a few days ago Raphael Esrail, an Auschwitz survivor, died.
We must keep the memory of the Holocaust alive and combine it with an active commitment to peaceful coexistence for all people. We need a democracy capable of action more than ever as dangerous figures seek to use the pandemic as an excuse to undermine the foundations of our democratic systems, pushing nationalism, authoritarianism and xenophobia.
Rewriting European history is just as dangerous as forgetting it. We all need to educate and engage against nationalist, racist ideologues and conspiracy theorists – worldwide. Let us keep the memory of the darkest chapter of human atrocities alive as a constant reminder.
We need anti-fascist civil courage for a world without racism, Nazism and militarism. A world without exclusion, fascism or war. It is important to be vigilant and to stand up against far right rhetoric slogans on the internet and on the streets. The real borders are not between people and countries, but between the oppressors and the oppressed.
As Left-wingers, anti-fascism is part of our DNA. We will never stand by silently as democracy and human rights are under attack.