'The holocaust must never be forgotten'
Europe's future lies in peace and cooperation but the tragedies and conflicts of the past must not be forgotten. This was the message from European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Tuesday.
Speaking at a meeting organised by the European Parliament to mark the day, V-P Šefčovič said that there was "no bleaker chapter in the history of humanity than the holocaust" and that it was still impossible to understand what made people act the way they did in those dark days of European history.
But he added that the holocaust had also "showed us the best in people. Their resilience, their capacity for hope, for forgiveness and for reconciliation" – the essential building blocks of today's European project.
The ceremony also included the dedication of a room in the European parliament to Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews only to be arrested and deported by the Soviets at the end of the War.
"The mysterious circumstances surrounding his arrest, imprisonment and death, which remain unclear even today, serve as a reminder that the holocaust continued to cause suffering long after the end of the Second World War," said V-P Šefčovič. "That is why the holocaust must never be forgotten. The lowest point in human history must be remembered to ensure that the horrors of that age will never haunt us again."