Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day

On Holocaust Remembrance Day we remember those who were killed for the only crime of being born. We remember the systematic attempt by the Nazi regime and its allies to exterminate the Jewish people and other groups – based on their ethnicity, on their beliefs or on sexual orientations.

This day is about memory, and it is about action for our times. Liliana Segre – an Italian Senator for life and Holocaust survivor – recently said that the memory of the Shoah must help today’s Europeans “to reject the temptation of indifference towards the injustice that surrounds us, to remain vigilant, and to be more aware of everyone’s responsibility towards the other.”

Remembrance is an individual and collective responsibility, particularly in times when antisemitism rises again, antisemitic conspiracy theories flourish again, and attacks against Jews and the memory of the Holocaust are way too common – inside and outside Europe. So, more than ever, we have the duty to “remain vigilant” against all forms of racism and discrimination, old and new, to react and to act.

The European Union has always been and stays engaged against any form of antisemitism, including attempts to condone, justify or trivialise the Holocaust. The modern project of European integration was born as a response to World War II and the Shoah. The European Union was built primarily on the decision to say “never again”. We recognised that our continent’s diversity is what makes us strong, and preserving diversity became a fundamental goal of our Union – including in our foreign policy.

Antisemitism – as well as all forms of racism – is an attack against the very foundations of our European Union: it is an attack against all of us.