European Parliament President, Martin Schulz, has decided to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Day as part of the EU institution’s official ceremonies.
The first such ceremony will be held on January 22 at the EU parliament seat in Brussels.
In a letter sent to Rabbi Avi Tawil, President of the European Jewish Community Center (EJCC), who has initiated for the past 7 years an annual event at the parliament, Martin Schulz promised that the European Parliament “ is committed to the perpetuation of the Holocaust commemoration and to the promotion of democracy and human rights.”
Although it was not considered as official until now, this annual commemoration was attended by various personalities from the European parliament and other EU bodies.
“The commemoration of the Holocaust and its lessons is essential not only for the Jewish community but for all people in Europe and the entire world. Unfortunately, we are witnessing an alarming rise in popularity of hate groups across Europe as a consequence of the financial crisis,” Rabbi Tawil said in a statement.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, General Director of the European Jewish Association (EJA), thanked President Schulz for his efforts to promote the lessons of the Holocaust. “The European institutions have the responsibility to increase education toward tolerance in all EU member states. Education is the key to preventing the reoccurrence of such acts of horror,” he said.
He also praised Rabbi Tawil for his devotion and contribution to the commemoration of the Holocaust in the European institutions and expressed his appreciation for the European Jewish Congress’ efforts in executing the ceremonies in the past two years.