January 27, 2008
A memorial evening to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day took place in Moscow on January 27. The event was organised by the Holocaust Centre and Foundation together with the Moscow city government, the Russian Jewish Congress and the Israeli embassy in Russia.
In his address, President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) and Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) Viatcheslav Kantor reminded attendees that exactly sixty-three years ago Red Army soldiers liberated Auschwitz. “Commemorating this day, we should pay tribute not only to Holocaust victims, but also to the soldiers and officers who liberated the concentration camp,” he said.
Kantor expressed his concern about the current situation in Europe. “Even the most conservative estimates show that there are hundreds of thousands of neo-Nazis in Russia, and there are millions of them throughout Europe.” According to Kantor, this means that the number of neo-Nazis and their supporters in Europe is higher than the number of Jews who survived the Holocaust.
Kantor drew the audience’s attention to the fact that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted sixty years ago; however, since then Europe has not adopted any code of laws on tolerance, even though such laws are vital for each civilised country to counteract xenophobia, anti-Semitism and any forms of extremism and ethnic hatred. Kantor said that the EJC has created a task force to propose a draft tolerance declaration for the European continent at the session of the Council of Europe on November 10, 2008. Furthermore, the EJC and RJC intend to ask Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov to hold a tolerance lesson in the Russian capital’s schools.