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Amherd wants to keep memories alive on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Updated at 27 Jan 2024 5:30 pm

On Saturday, President Viola Amherd commemorated "the victims of National Socialism and its policy of extermination" on the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is important to preserve the memories. A vigil was held in Zurich.

"Today we commemorate the six million Jews, Sinti, Roma and other victims of National Socialism and its policy of extermination. It is our historical responsibility to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and prevent such tragedies," Amherd wrote on Saturday in the short messaging service X and in a message on Remembrance Day.

The current international situation calls for caution. Anti-Semitism "has been proven to lead to the worst atrocities by fueling hostility with prejudice. Its increase in light of the terrorist attacks by Hamas against the Israeli civilian population on October 7, 2023 must therefore be combated resolutely and with all our strength."

Regardless of what is happening in the Middle East, it is unacceptable that Jewish fellow citizens in Switzerland should be attacked or feel threatened.

However, preserving the memory of the Holocaust is also so important because the voices of the survivors are gradually falling silent. Now it is the places where the crimes of Nazi Germany and its collaborators were committed that prove the historical truth. Holocaust Memorial Day marks the date of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945.

Rally in Zurich

According to a Keystone SDA correspondent, around 500 people took part in a vigil in Zurich. Initiator Rachel Manetsch explained that the commemoration was all the more important in view of the rise of right-wing parties and increasing anti-Semitism in Europe.

Rapper Knackeboul expressed his astonishment that on Holocaust Memorial Day and 111 days after the biggest attack on Jewish lives since the Shoah, young people are parading through Zurich with anti-Semitic banners and slogans. It was despairing.

The rally drew attention to the atrocities committed by the Nazis with the pop-up exhibition "The Last Swiss Holocaust Survivors". Some of the contemporary witnesses portrayed took part in the vigil. Alongside the rally, a poster campaign is running with sentences such as "My grandfather survived Auschwitz. He is afraid for my future" or "My parents say: This is exactly how it started back then. The mood gradually changed".

©Keystone/SDA

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