International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust: Didier Reynders reminds the importance of remembrance and awareness

On 27 January 1945, the extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated in Poland. the whole world became aware of horrors beyond imagination. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders joins today the commemoration of the Holocaust and of the genocides which happened in the history. On Tuesday 23rd of January, the Minister met the president of the Israeli Parliament Yuli Edelstein who was invited to Belgium by the President of the Chamber for a joint commemoration of the Holocaust.

With the time, the number of survivors and first-hand witnesses of the atrocities committed by the Nazi-regime is decreasing. This makes it all the more important to continue to undertake initiatives to keep the memory of the millions of victims alive and to pass it on to the younger generations.

Belgium contributes to this. Our country continues its efforts to increase awareness in order to prevent new mass crimes and atrocities.

Education, dialogue, research and diplomacy are the best means to prevent racism, anti-Semitism, intolerance and xenophobia. Together with its partners, Belgium promotes an inclusive society based on citizenship and respect for each individual. This is the best way to honor the memory of the victims of Nazism and of the Shoah.

Minister Reynders fully supports the efforts of Belgian authorities and (private) associations who work towards a society that rejects hatred in all its forms. He welcomes the designation of a single OSCE point of contact for hate crimes within the Belgian ministry of justice. This point of contact will be directly connected to the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) where data will be collected and the development of initiatives against hate crimes in our country will be monitored.