Statement by Jean Lambert on Holocaust Memorial Day
Over six million Jews were murdered during WW2. Many more people were singled out and persecuted because of ethnicity, disability, sexuality, religious belief or political views. A legacy of that terrible chapter in humanity was The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948 as a response to the Second World War, providing a global expression of rights to which people – each and every one – should be entitled.
The European Convention on Human Rights is an important guardian of human rights within the EU and Europe as a whole: it should be upheld and valued not only as a legal mechanism but also a statement of aspiration arising from the horrors of war.
Today we remember those murdered by the Nazi regime – which itself failed to defeat the human spirit: We also remember that we still live in a world where we must take a stand against oppressive regimes and ideologies which believe that difference is unacceptable and must be eradicated.
Ethnic hatred and cultural division and matters of faith continue to stoke and fuel violence, resulting in the scourge of mass-murder and genocide. Those of us who believe that it is possible to live together for the benefit of the planet and all humanity must work together to confront hatred in our own societies and across borders; support those who are oppressed and remember the tragedy of the Holocaust to both honour the victims and to prevent its repetition.