Holocaust. Auschwitz concentration camp
Holocaust. Auschwitz concentration campiStock

International Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on the 27th of January will be dramatically different this year given the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Brussels based Jewish advocacy NGO the EJA have organized a large online gathering of significant dignitaries made up EU Commissioners, Ministers, Senators and Parliamentarians and MEPS, as well as Jewish Leaders from across Europe to honor the memory of those that perished during one of the darkest periods of European history. Israel’s government will also be represented at Ministerial level. The commemoration is also open to the public.

The Zoom commemoration will see these senior political and diplomatic figures share their sympathies on this important day as well as sharing ideas and engaging in conversations with Jewish leaders from across the continent on the best ways of eradicating the scourge of anti-Semitism, as well as the increasing challenges posed by laws that impact Jewish life and practice such as Kosher slaughter and circumcision.

EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, who organized the online gathering said ahead of International Holocaust Memorial Day,

“There are some days that transcend political or health crises, whose lesson from the past is too important to be passed by or ignored no matter what the circumstances. International Holocaust Memorial Day is such a day. Jewish life is in Europe is currently assailed by a twin-threat: COVID-19-inspired anti-Semitism that has seen a resurgence of some of the worst libels and tropes; and repeated attacks on Jewish life through laws that seek to target our practices. The echoes of the past cannot be ignored.

“We were determined, despite an inability to meet in our usual way, at public events, in synagogues and in national parliaments, that a commemoration was not only necessary, but given the increasing polarization in society, the intolerance towards others and the clear rise in anti-Semitism that the pandemic has exacerbated, but was also in fact vital, said Margolin, adding that “The lessons of the Holocaust have seldom been more pressing or important.”

The online event, which is open to everyone and will be streamed live on Arutz Sheva and the EJA’s Facebook page. The Commemoration begins at 2pm CET on the 27th of January.