Austria United in Remembrance: Joint Remembrance on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: January 30, 2024; 09:19 ♦ (Vindobona)

In an impressive sign of solidarity and remembrance, representatives of the Jewish Community, Roma, Austria's political leaders, and members of the democratic opposition came together in Vienna to commemorate the millions of victims of the Shoah.

Andreas Sarközi, Claudia Prutscher, David Roet, Michael Galibov, Susanne Raab, Wolfgang Sobotka, Oskar Deutsch, Kai Jan Krainer, Judith Püringer and Karl Arthur Arlamovsky (f.l.t.r.). / Picture: © IKG/Schmidl

The ceremony, which took place in Vienna's Ostarrichipark at the Shoah Wall of Names memorial, was accompanied by moving musical contributions from musician Ferry Janoska and senior cantor Shmuel Barzilai.

Oskar Deutsch, President of the Jewish Community, emphasized the importance of remembering the Shoah as an obligation for the future and warned of the dangers of resurgent anti-Semitism and racism, especially in light of the terrorist massacre by Hamas on October 7 last year and the rise of extremist parties in Austria and Germany.

On Remembrance Day, Andreas Sarközi, Managing Director of the Cultural Association of Austrian Roma, emphasized the importance of remembering the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and the other extermination camps. He called for the government and politics to be vigilant against anti-democratic and misanthropic tendencies and to ensure that Auschwitz never happens again.

At the same time, the Austrian Parliament organized a comprehensive program around International Holocaust Remembrance Day through projections, exhibitions, and photo campaigns with members of parliament. Companies also took part in the activities to send a clear signal of remembrance and responsibility today.

The Youth Commission of the Jewish Community Vienna once again supported the #WeRemember campaign of the World Jewish Congress this year. In educational institutions, young Jews were informed about the campaign and encouraged to participate to promote the ongoing remembrance of the crimes of the Shoah.

High-ranking representatives from politics and society, including Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka, commented on Remembrance Day and emphasized the need to stand up against anti-Semitism and for democracy every day. Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler emphasized the importance of remembrance and vigilance against anti-democratic tendencies.

Turkish community also represented

As a sign of remembrance and warning, members of the Turkish Cultural Community in Austria (TKG) came together to commemorate the victims of National Socialism. The TKG recalled that the Holocaust not only cost the lives of millions of Jews, but also numerous other groups who were persecuted by the Nazi regime, including political opponents such as communists and social democrats, homosexuals, Roma, and Sinti as well as people who were considered "not equal" for various reasons.

The community emphasized the importance of resolutely confronting all forms of anti-Semitism and racism and raising awareness of the need for a strong, vigilant, and enlightened civil society. The event also emphasized the role of religion in promoting peace and protecting human dignity.

With the clear statement "Never Again! Never Again.", the Turkish Cultural Community set an example against forgetting and against today's manifestations of anti-Semitism. It called on people to remember the victims of the Holocaust and at the same time to remain vigilant against all forms of hatred and discrimination to ensure that the dark chapters of history are not repeated.

Minister Edtstadler in Washington, DC

Federal Minister Edtstadler represented Austria at an official commemoration ceremony in Washington, D.C., and emphasized the importance of transatlantic cooperation in the fight against anti-Semitism. She emphasized the importance of taking a firm stand against all forms of anti-Semitism to ensure that "never again" is not just an empty phrase.

This day of remembrance highlights the continued relevance of Holocaust remembrance and the need to continually confront the past to shape a future in which anti-Semitism and racism have no place.

IKG

TKG

Federal Chancellery of Austria