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The president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain Isaac Benzaquén said in an interview that while the Holocaust may seem far away in the past it must not be forgotten because “unfortunately history repeats itself.”

Speaking to Spanish news agency EFE, Benzaquén said it was regretful that people commonly believe that the Holocaust is only a Jewish issue, the Eldiarioes publication reported.

“I believe that this is often the big mistake,” he said. “The Holocaust was against human rights, against the traditional values that all of Europe fought against.”

He called for Holocaust education to be a permanent part of the school curriculum in order to combat lack of knowledge.

“In [Spain’s] new education law it finally appears as mandatory in the third and fourth year of high school, it is an important step but it is a small step for all that must be done,” he said.

The leader of Spain’s Jewish community also noted that “the Jewish community feels very safe in Spain, very integrated and we have full freedom to develop our beliefs and traditions.”

But he added that universities had a duty to take part in the fight against antisemitism, praising the inauguration of the “Simone Veil Extraordinary Chair for the prevention of racism, antisemitism and promotion of interculturality.”

The position will “promote freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, through research, scientific dissemination and training.”