Richard Howitt Labour MEP for the East of England together with fellow MEPs Boguslaw Sonik and Marek Siwiec from Poland, German Alexander Graf Lambsdorff and Dennis De Jong from Holland today launched a Written Declaration in the European Parliament asking that we all to take our share of responsibility for the Holocaust.
The Written Declaration
1. Underlines that the Holocaust was executed by Germany, but with support from other Europeans, however marginal, including organised institutional and spontaneous collaboration of individuals and groups on the territories occupied by Germany;
2. Appreciates the German government’s condemnation of the atrocities committed by the Third Reich and praises its many efforts to educate the new generation about the horrors of the past.
3. Praises the Polish government’s efforts to safeguard the museum in Auschwitz and welcomes the official apology from the President of Poland for the massacre of Jews in Jedwabne in 1941.
4. Praises the Romanian government’s 2004 acknowledgement of the death march of up to 380,000 Jewish victims.
5. Gives its highest admiration to all such activities to establish historical truth and remembrance.
6. Underlines that Western Allies remained largely passive in the face of the Holocaust; Auschwitz or the railways lines to the gas chambers were never targeted.
7. Remembers that Jews fleeing persecution in 1939 were turned away from the United States and Cuba.
8. Recognises the Holocaust as a unique part of European history, and in accepting what happened in the past across countries of today’s European Union, we accept our responsibility to ensure that the horrors of the Holocaust never happen again.
9. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the Council and the Commission.
The following quote is from Richard Howitt as he launched the Written Declaration. I completely agree with Richard and welcome this initiative.
“Those who seek to deny the Holocaust are given succour by all of us who condemn its horrors but who choose to neglect or cover-up those in our own countries who supported it directly or indirectly.
“We all have to support the deeply painful but essential process through which the Romanian government acknowledged the death march of hundreds of thousands of Jews by their soldiers, and the efforts of Poland to recover the sign stolen from Auschwitz and to preserve it as a museum. These stand as an example to us all.
“Our declaration also makes clear that the Western Allies ourselves should have done more to block the rail lines to the gas chambers and to welcome Jewish refugees.
“The importance for all Europe today is that in accepting what happened in the past, we are accepting our responsibility to make sure it never happens again.”