In her speech, President von der Leyen stated:
“In Europe, we are grateful, that more than 75 years after the Holocaust, Jewish life is thriving again – in schools and kindergartens, in synagogues and in trendy, kosher restaurants. In the heart of our communities. In the middle of our everyday lives. That Jewish people feel at home in Europe makes us both incredibly grateful – and humble. And it is a reminder for us: We must never remain silent, when Jewish citizens in Europe are exposed to hatred and harassment again. But we also know that antisemitism is not buried deep in the past. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how quickly antisemitic conspiracy myths can spread. Disinformation and denials of facts are everywhere on the net – with antisemitic narratives circulating.”
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO, Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General, Council of Europe, Matteo Mecacci, Director of OSCE/ODIHR, and H.E. Amb. Michaela Küchler, Chair, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, also sent video messages on this occasion.
Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, took part in the panel discussion on “Holocaust Remembrance as an international commitment”. She presented the EU legal framework regarding Holocaust denial and the commitment of Europe to preserve the memory of the Shoah through concrete actions, such as the joint Twitter campaign again Holocaust denial #ProtectTheFacts (IHRA, EC, UNESCO, UN) and increased funding.