On 27 January every year, the European Commission commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day with training for EU staff, exhibitions and dedicated events to raise awareness.
This year to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the EC Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs and the Europe for Citizens Programme organised on 24 January a special event. It also launched the opening of the exhibition “Between Life and Death. Stories of Rescue During the Holocaust”. The exhibition is a joint project of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity from Poland, POLIN – Museum of History of Polish Jews and German Memorial Center Silent Heroes.
The event was introduced by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, who said: “ The Holocaust shattered the entire moral fibre of human society and had a devastating effect on the lives of individuals, families and communities. We remember the six million men, women and children whose lives were cut short when the hatred and the misguided politics of racial superiority engulfed our continent. Looking at the past, we find inspiration in the people who are here today to bear the witness and in all those who decided against all odds to provide help and rescue risking their own life. Out of those unspeakable atrocities, and out of total destruction, a new social and moral tissue was born in Europe. This is our legacy. Today, we make a pledge as we do every day and every year, that we shall never forget. That we shall continue to fight to create fair, decent and compassionate societies which are not indifferent in the face of human misery. We make a pledge to continue deconstructing the seeds of anti-Semitic narratives and attitudes. We make a pledge to uphold notions of humanity and solidarity, to live up to our aspirations of an open Europe. We make a pledge of building a Europe of values, a strong Europe of responsible citizens and a Europe which learned from its past to not repeat it again.”
Holocaust survivors Elżbieta Ficowska, Jehoshua Shochot and Elisabeth Drillich from Poland, Lithuania and Belgium provided unique testimonies of their rescue during the Holocaust and their life afterwards.