Holocaust should not be forgotten-Czech president
The extermination of European Jews by the Nazi regime should not be forgotten and should remain an everlasting memento, Czech President Vaclav Klaus said today at a meeting in the Czech Senate commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Today it may be more necessary to recall the crimes against humanity committed against the Jewish population than decades ago because of the efforts to re-write the past and use its false picture for political purposes, Klaus said.
"We do not do this only for historical piety, but also for our future. We do this to prevent similar monstrous crimes against humanity from ever repeating," he said.
"The genocide of European Jews must not be forgotten and must remain an everlasting memento. This memento will remind us of the evil that people are capable to commit against each other. It should be a memento that will strengthen our belief in the fundamental importance of human freedom because it is the only guarantee that similar tragic events will never repeat," Klaus said.
The Holocaust, an international word that is not quite understandable in the Czech language, is used by Czechs to describe "may be the most awful and shameful crime in human history," Klaus said.
"However, I fear whether this one foreign word could complicate our possibility to sufficiently realise and feel the whole depth of monstrosity of what had happened then, the monstrosity of the extermination of European Jews by the German Nazi regime," Klaus said.
The modern time and its problems make the historical experience from the Holocaust distant for new generations, he said.
"We have experience with the efforts to re-write the past, replace the committers and victims, compare their sufferings and politically abuse a false picture of the past thus created," Klaus said.
"That is why it is necessary to point to the importance to commemorate the Holocaust victims today, may be even more than in the past," Klaus said.
He appreciated that not only Jewish organisations commemorate the Holocaust victims.
Klaus pointed to the significance of the passing of a law by the Czech parliament five years ago that made Holocaust Remembrance Day a memorial day in the Czech Republic.
This day became an opportunity for all to remember the common lesson from the tragedy of the Nazi "Final Solution of the Jewish Question," Klaus said.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, honoring the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust in the World War Two, is celebrated on January 27, the day of the liberation of the Oswiecim (Auschwitz) Nazi extermination camp.
In the Czech Republic, like in most European Union member states, it has been marked since 2004.
"The day reminds us that evil should be destructed on the start and that the roots of extremism do not lie in any concrete ideology, concrete religion or concrete national community," Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek (senior governing Civic Democrats, ODS) today said in a statement CTK received.
The special session in the Senate today was attended by Senate chairman Premysl Sobotka (ODS), Chamber of Deputies chairman Miloslav Vlcek (senior opposition Social Democrats, CSSD) and other guests.
Sobotka said that it was necessary to constantly mobilise all decent people for the opposition against evil and warned against the "underestimation of new dark risks."
Karel Holomek, chairman of the Association of Moravian Romanies, said that the fates of Jews and Romanies were similar during the Holocaust.
"This shows that the monstrosity of racist theories and their implementation should never be forgotten," he said.
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