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Press Information published by the International Auschwitz Committee


High-ranking delegation visits the Memorial: Auschwitz remains on the global agenda

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In Oswiecim, Christoph Heubner, Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee made the following statement before accompanying the joint delegation of Prof Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Dr Irmgard Schwaetzer (EKD/Protestant Church in Germany), Dr Joseph Schuster (Central Council of Jews in Germany) and Romani Rose (Central Council of German Sinti and Roma) in Oswiecim/Auschwitz:

“Auschwitz survivors around the globe are looking forward to the delegation’s visit with special interest and close attention. Following the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in January 2020 and the remembrance ceremony, they view this visit as a very important signal that Auschwitz remains on the global agenda, especially because of the renewed outbreaks of Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, right-wing extremist violence and hatred towards Sinti and Roma around the world. For Auschwitz survivors this worldwide networking of hatred, with its localized targeted attacks of murder and violence, is both disturbing and increasingly threatening. The Auschwitz survivors are grateful that, in this particular situation, they are not being left alone with their memories and fears, but are experiencing support instead. Wherever they occur, in the virtual or the real world, all anti-Semitic and right-wing extremist attacks and conspiracy theories are never restricted to Auschwitz survivors alone. On the contrary: They always represent a massive threat, denigrating democracy and all of its citizens.

The survivors are also grateful that the delegation will not only be visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and joining in remembrance of the Roma and Sinti genocide; they will also be visiting the Auschwitz International Youth Meeting Center which was developed with strong support from the Evangelical Church in Germany and many evangelical church communities in Germany within the framework of the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace. For survivors from many countries, this meeting centre has over the years formed a ‘life-base’, a living contrast to their Auschwitz experiences, a key point where they can join in exchanges with young people. They sincerely hope that groups from the evangelical church will use this house to learn in Auschwitz about what can happen when even dedicated democratic citizens fail to join hands and stand up to protect and shape democracy. The International Auschwitz Committee sees the joint delegation as a symbol of this mutual commitment to democracy. The delegation will be greeted by the Auschwitz survivor and Polish-Jewish Vice President of the IAC Marian Turski in a live video conference.”


For further Information

Christoph Heubner

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