Greece’s foreign ministry on Sunday issued a statement for the 74th anniversary of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, noting that it was “ a day of responsibility which…brings to mind the darkest chapter of European history” and an opportunity to pay tribute to the millions of Jews that perished, as well as honouring the survivors.
The full ministry announcement is given below:
“Today marks the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the allied forces. The International Community has chosen this symbolic day to honour the memory of the millions of Jews who were exterminated with the use of unprecedented, systematic and bureaucratically organised methods at Nazi death camps and elsewhere.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day of responsibility, an international anniversary which once again brings to mind the darkest chapter of European history, which has since constituted a basic element of our collective European identity.
The Jewish communities of Greece suffered irreparably due to the Nazi atrocities, which led to their near annihilation. The Greek State today pays tribute to the memory of millions of our fellow citizens and foreign Jews who fell victim to the most heinous crime in modern History. We also honour the survivors of the Shoah, recognising the indelible wounds to their bodies and souls, as well as the courage and selfless sacrifice of those who rushed to protect those mercilessly persecuted.
Greece joins its voice to the consciousness of all Humanity, and its efforts to those of the other 31 members of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance that have undertaken, through the Stockholm Declaration, the responsibility of preserving the collective memory of our fellow men and women that perished in the Holocaust. At the same time, it repeats its pandemic condemnation of any act that denies historical truth and defames the memory of the millions of victims of the Shoah. We honour and we commit ourselves to the memory of all those lost, and in the name of all who survived, that we will shall never forget.”
A message was also issued by the SYRIZA party, which noted that the Holocaust was the “biggest crime on a mass scale in human history,” in which six million Jews were “ scientifically” exterminated in concentration camps in Europe, among them 70,000 Greek Jews that represented 87 pct of the country’s Jewish community.
“We have an obligation to not forget the horrors of nazism, fascism and racism, especially now when in many countries on our continent there is an increase in the electoral influence of political groupings with extreme nationalist, racist and neonazi positions, among which is included the criminal organisation ‘Golden Dawn’,” SYRIZA’s announcement said.