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International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Statement by Karl-Heinz Lambertz, CoR-President  

Today, we remember the 6 million innocent Jews who were brutally murdered. We remember it was the hatred of difference that led to the persecution of children, parents, husbands, wives, brothers and sisters. We honor the survivors who bear witnessed to such brutal horrors by never forgetting, whose trauma we embrace and whose bravery we extol.

The Holocaust will always be a permanent scar on our European history, an important reminder of the fragility of democracy and that language of hate can so easily eradicate human dignity. Not speaking out, not challenging those who attempt to divide us on religious, race, sexuality or gender, is against our open Europe. We must always stand firm by cherishing human rights, respecting difference, protecting democracy and upholding the rule of law.

The greatest way to remember the millions of lives that were taken is to always challenge racism and reject anti-Semitism in any form. The fight against discrimination must persist every day, by protecting our common law and rejecting rhetoric that divides.

Our Union was built on common values with an instilled belief that nobody should ever feel afraid to openly practice religious beliefs that fulfils their own personal destiny. No one should ever feel that the law and their leaders will not protect them. We all have the right to freedom of expression.

Today we mourn the lost, remember the courageous, and stand united for liberty.