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Press Information published by the International Auschwitz Committee


Halle / Alsace / Erfurt / Oradour sur Glane / Graz: The states of Europe are still giving neo-Nazis and far-right extremists too much free rein

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Auschwitz survivors are following the dramatic increase in anti-Semitic and right-wing extremist attacks in many European countries with growing concern. Attempts to attack or kill Jews, such as in Halle and Graz, the defacing of Jewish graves such as in Alsace in last December, or as now in Oradour sur Glane, a direct attack on one of the major remembrance sites in the French republic, the village where the SS murdered hundreds of French citizens and which today is a memorial to the victims of barbaric brutality under German occupation: First comes political indignation and the announcement of immediate measures, but as soon as political interest wanes, so too does that of the general public.

Commenting in Berlin, Christoph Heubner, Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee, said:

“There is growing concern among Auschwitz survivors that the new challenges posed in European societies by right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism are still being played down too much and that many people in politics, the judiciary and the police regard the dramatically changed and internationally networked hate scene as a marginal issue. The situation now calls for closer international cooperation in police work and greater pressure in the pursuit of perpetrators. This needs to be publicly visible, as does the speedy and consistent legal prosecution and sentencing of the perpetrators. The states of Europe are still giving neo-Nazis and far-right extremists too much free rein, to the effect that they are allowing these people to repeatedly create their own self-defined territories, and intimidate and terrorize citizens at will. The severity and increase in recent incidents in different countries are a wake-up call for Europe to rein in the violence.”


For further Information

Christoph Heubner

Executive Vice President
International Auschwitz Committee
Phone ++ 49 (0)30 26 39 26 81