Holocaust Memorial Day

Labour Party

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.”

3 thoughts on “Holocaust Memorial Day

  1. Appropriate date to remember what happened but to seek to blame all European counties is nonsense. This resolution seeks to absolve the Germans for their near absolute resposibility for what happened. albeit assisted by Quislings from many European Countries,
    The resolution should be exempting Britain and indeed praising Britain for standing out against German agression between 1939 and 1945

    I, like most am proud to say that our nation had nothing to do with the Holacaust and find it objectionable that a British MEP should even hint we did. I am proud that we stood up to the German natural instinct to try to control Europe twice in the last century

  2. The reaction to Mr Hewitt’s points of view by Sandy Jamieson was interesting and it highlights the vast difference in attitude between those in Brussels and those outside it. Richard Howitt expects all Europe to take the blame for the Holocaust and Sandy Jamieson objects to this as Britain was opposed to the terrible things done by Germany and it struggled to stop them.
    Mr Howitt, being an MEP sees things differently, he understands that countries like the UK and Germany are in the final stages of political merger into one country called the EU and that the former nation states which make up its territory are now more like counties than countries. As a citizen of this new country, the EU, you can take a pride not just in the achievements of Shakespeare and Milton but also in those of Goethe and Beethoven and you can also claim Galileo as a compatriot. The downside of this is that you must accept the national disgrace of the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust, the St Bartholomew Day Massacre, etc.
    If Sandy Jamieson wishes to be prepared for the inevitable consequences of political merger, some future features of the EU State can be considered. Many could be described but for brevity’s sake here are just a few.
    In the future:
    An athlete from Liverpool who wins an Olympic Gold medal will stand on a podium and hear the National Anthem of the EU playing as the flag of the EU is raised.
    There will be no British Embassies. Without a British Government they would have no-one to represent. Counties do not need an embassy. No-one has ever suggested that Hampshire needs an ambassador in Moldova so why should the future county of Britishire have one.

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