Joint Commemoration of the Victims of the Shoah

More+Events ♦ Published: January 29, 2023; 20:25 ♦ (Vindobona)

On the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, representatives of the Israeli Religious Community, the Roma, the Government of Austria, the Embassy of Israel in Vienna and the humanist parliamentary parties commemorated the victims of the Shoah.

Candles were lit in memory of the victims of the Shoah with the inscription #WeRemember. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Hans Hofer

Representatives of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), the Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ), the Green Party (Grünen), the Austrian National Socialists (NEOS), the federal government, the Roma, the Jewish community and the State of Israel came to the commemoration ceremony at the Shoah Name Wall to remember the Shoah as the greatest crime committed against humanity.

The representatives present placed candles with the inscription #WeRemember in memory of the victims of the Shoah. The lights commemorate those murdered during the Shoah.

The #WeRemember campaign is organized by the World Jewish Congress and aims to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day by encouraging society to reflect on the lessons of the Shoah so that future generations will have the knowledge and sensitivity to prevent the Shoah or similar crimes against humanity.

The commemoration was concluded by Chief Cantor Shmuel Barzilai, who sang the traditional prayer for the dead, "El Maleh Rachamim" ("God Full of Mercy").

Aware that the Shoah happened and thus can happen again and again, the joint commemoration is also a mandate to do everything possible to ensure that Austria's open, democratic and diverse society is strengthened for future generations. Part of this strengthening is to actively fight against any form of anti-Semitism, anti-Roma, racism, or other forms of discrimination and to show civil courage when such incidents occur. Every individual is called upon to contribute, no matter where no matter when.

High level of representativeness on Remembrance Day

High-ranking politicians and members of the government took part in the Day of Remembrance and all gave short speeches in which they condemned the Holocaust. The President of the National Council Wolfgang Sobotka, the Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer, the Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler, the Minister of Constitution Karoline Edtstadler, the Chairwoman of the NEOS, Beate Meinl-Reisinger, the Chairwoman of the SPÖ, Pamela Rendi-Wagner, who was represented by the former Minister Alois Stöger, were present.

The re-elected Federal President of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, was also present and stated that "commemorating the Holocaust and preserving the memory of the millions of people who were expelled, tortured and murdered by the National Socialists is our moral obligation. For we must never again allow such atrocities to become possible. Never again must contempt for humanity, scapegoating and violence be used as a political tool. Never again."

Emmerich Gärtner-Horvath, Chairman of the Ethnic Group Advisory Council of the Roma and IKG President Oskar Deutsch, used their speeches to draw special attention to the greatest crime in human history and explained how important it is that the victims have a public place.

The Israeli Ambassador Mordechai Rodgold also stressed the importance that future generations will also remember the millions of murdered children, women and men, "Never Forget" must not become an empty shell, especially since the fight against all forms of anti-Semitism must be carried and supported by the whole society. Remembering the Shoah and the joint fight against anti-Semitism are also part of the comprehensive strategic partnership agreed between Israel and Austria in July 2022."

Vienna Israelite Community