Brussels, January 18th, 2018 – European Coalition for Israel has joined an international social media campaign initiated by the World Jewish Congress to remember the victims of the Holocaust.
With the campaign, which encourages people to post pictures of themselves with signs saying “#We remember”, the World Jewish Congress hopes to reach 500 million people from around the globe. The World Jewish Congress launched the inaugural We Remember campaign in 2017, with the hopes of reaching six million in a symbolic gesture to the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust; more than 250 million were reached.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is commemorated each year on January 27th, the date in 1945 when the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps were liberated by the Red Army. The date was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in November 2005 as an international day but already in January 2005 the European Coalition for Israel initiated and hosted the first Holocaust Remembrance Day in the European Parliament in Brussels. The commemoration event has since grown to become an official memorial hosted by the President of the European Parliament together with the European Jewish Congress. This Wednesday, 24th January, the European Parliament will mark the date with a solemn event with speeches by the current President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor and the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein.
In a statement on Thursday, ECI chairman Tor G Gull encouraged all members and supporters of ECI to join the campaign by posting a picture with the sign “#We remember” on social media to help reach the goal of having 500 million people worldwide involved in honouring the victims of the Holocaust.
Also this year personal testimonies from Holocaust survivors will be made available through the on-line exhibition “Shadows of Shoah” by New Zealand videographer Perry Trotter.
“In a day and age when antisemitism is on the rise again in Europe and Holocaust denial is rampant we need to listen to these moving stories time and time again”, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell said. “There is no better vaccine against the deadly virus of antisemitism than being confronted with the ugly realities of the Holocaust through personal testimonies of those who survived this man made hell here on earth.”
In a separate statement in New York, the Chief Executive Officer of the World Jewish Congress Robert Singer thanked the ECI for their support in spreading the campaign message to faith communities and civil society groups across the European continent.
“We must take a firm stand against the ongoing demonstrations of anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and hatred that we continue to experience today,” he said. “Only by working together across community lines can we put a stop to this phenomenon.”
This year, International Holocaust Remembrance Day falls on Saturday. In most European capitals there will be official events throughout the week. ECI calls upon local churches and faith communities to take a moment to honour the victims of the Holocaust in their Sunday services on January 28th.
For more information about the social media campaign by the World Jewish Congress please visit www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/weremember.
To learn more about the Holocaust remembrance work of ECI and to access the on-line exhibition Shadows of Shoah please visit https://www.ec4i.org/resources/holocaust-remembrance-day/