2019 Edition 2019 Edition
Parliamentary Assembly Session Strasbourg 23 January 2019
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Holocaust memorial ceremony

The President of Finland Sauli Niinistö has attended a ceremony in front of the Council of Europe’s headquarters in Strasbourg, to mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

In his address Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland underlined the importance of remembering the victims, in order to prevent a repetition of the atrocities that claimed the lives of six million people.

Eli Lev, Ambassador of Israel to the international institutions in France, paid tribute to the work of the Council of Europe, including its European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), which fights anti-Semitism and xenophobia, and the separate programme to preserve and promote Holocaust remembrance.

Miranda Vuolasranta, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum, referring to the rise of extreme right parties across Europe, warned that the ceremony was not just a commemoration of what she described as “the worst crime in history”, but also a wake-up call for what could await us if we do not act to prevent the resurgence of Fascism in Europe.

PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier pledged that Holocaust remembrance would continue to guide the Council of Europe’s actions "Particularly as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe, an organisation born out of the ruins of the Second World War and with a mission that is still relevant today: to defend peace, democracy and respect for fundamental rights, which are unfortunately still under threat in Europe".

Also taking part in the ceremony was David Cupina, President of Les « Oublié.s.e.s » de la Mémoire Association Civile Homosexuelle du Devoir de Mémoire.

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2018 Edition 2018 Edition
Secretary General Strasbourg 25 January 2018
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Ceremony to mark International Day of Holocaust Commemoration

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen led tributes to the memory of Holocaust victims, at a ceremony outside the main Council of Europe building in Strasbourg.

Other participants who made addresses and laid wreaths in front of the commemorative stone included :

  • Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Ambassador of Israel to the international institutions in France
  • Miranda Vuolasranta, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum,
  • Denis Erhart, President of "Les Oublié(e)s" de la Mémoire Association Civile Homosexuelle du Devoir de Mémoire
  • Michele Nicoletti, President of the Parliamentary Assembly.

Commemoration ceremonies and Remembrance events to mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust  will also take place in several member states with the support of the Council of Europe field offices.

See also:
'Never again may the darkest pages of our common history be repeated'

2017 edition 2017 edition
Secretary General Strasbourg 24 January 2017
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Commemoration events for victims of the Holocaust

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland today opened a series of ceremonies to mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

In front of the commemorative stone on the forecourt of the Palais de l’Europe, addresses and wreath-laying were also made by Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, Klaus Werner Iohannis, President of Romania; Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Ambassador of Israel to the international institutions in France, Miranda Vuolasranta, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum and Denis Erhart, President of "Les Oublié(e)s" de la Mémoire Association Civile Homosexuelle du Devoir de Mémoire. Closing remarks were made by Pedro Agramunt, President of the Parliamentary Assembly.

Commemoration ceremonies and Remembrance events will also take place in several member states with the support of their Council of Europe field offices.

The exhibitions “Education and Remembrance - The Holocaust in Romania” and “There was a life” will be on display at the Ante-Room of the Committee of Ministers, and a training activity for school children will be held at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg on 26 January.

See also:
Statement by the Chair of the Committee of Ministers, Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cyprus

2016 Edition 2016 Edition
Council of Europe Strasbourg 26 January 2016
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In memory of the victims of the Holocaust

A ceremony to mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust will take place on Wednesday 27 January, 1.00pm, on the forecourt of the Palais de l’Europe.

Wreath-laying in front of the commemorative stone or addresses by:  

  • Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General
  • Pedro Agramunt, President of the Parliamentary Assembly
  • Ambassador Katya Todorova, Chair of the Ministers’ Deputies, Permanent Representative of Bulgaria
  • Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Ambassador of Israel to the international institutions in France
  • Gheorghe Raducanu, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum
  • Denis Erhart, President of Les « Oublié(e)s » de la Mémoire Association Civile Homosexuelle du Devoir de Mémoire

Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni will open an event for schools at the European Youth Centre.

The Day is dedicated this year to the “Righteous among the Nations”.

2015 edition 2015 edition

Monday 26 January 2015, 12 noon, Assembly Chamber: Commemoration ceremony of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau camp:

  • opening speech by PACE President Anne Brasseur
  • speech by Ida Grinspan, Holocaust survivor
  • speech by Samuel Pisar, Holocaust survivor and Unesco Special Envoy for Holocaust Education
  • speech by Jane Braden-Golay , President of the European Union of Jewish Students

Monday 26 January 2015, 12.45 pm, Forecourt of the Palais: wreath-laying and addresses by:

  • Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General
  • Didier Reynders, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Belgium, Chairman of the Committee of Ministers
  • Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Ambassador of Israel to the international institutions in France
  • Gheorghe Raducanu, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum

Two exhibitions will also take place during the PACE session in the Lobby of the Assembly Chamber:

  • "A Path to Remembrance", paints and ceramics by Francine Mayran. Inauguration on Tuesday 27 January at 1 pm
  • "All victims of the unspeakable", paints and portraits.

On Tuesday 27 January, the Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland and the DG II Director General, Mrs Snežana Samardžić-Marković will participate in the official commemoration of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, together with the Polish President.

2014 edition

27 January - A screening of a creative documentary ''KARUSSEL'' was organised in presence of the film's director, Ilona Ziok. This documentary tells the life story of the actor Kurt Gerron (who played in ''The Blue Angel'' opposite Marlene Dietrich) who was interned in the Theresienstadt camp and created a cabaret – Der Karussel – in the camp. The film re-creates this cabaret with songs sung by today's stars such as Ute Lemper, Max Raabe and Ben Becker. It has received many international documentary awards and received coproduction support from Eurimages Fund.

26 January - Women's role in the Resistance
A personal account by a survivor, performance of a play, exhibitions of portraits of women and musical interludes were on the programme during this event, jointly organised by the European Centre which commemorates deported Resistance members and the Council of Europe.


2013 edition

A conference on La Shoah par balles by Pierre-Philippe Preux, organised by The Centre européen du résistant déporté and the Council of Europe, will take place at on Sunday 27 January, 2 pm, at the Council of Europe's European Youth Centre in Strasbourg.

The conference will cast light on a still little-known aspect of the Holocaust, the murders between 1941 and 1944 of almost one and a half million Jews from Ukraine who were shot by Einsatzgruppen (mobile execution units) of the Waffen SS, the German police and East European collaborators.

The commemorative event will begin with a song performed by pupils from Landau (Germany). Pierre-Philippe Preux's lecture will be followed by a guided tour of two exhibitions: l'Art et la Shoah by Francine MAYRAN, an artist and psychiatrist, and l'Enfant cachée, by Hellen Kaufmann, from the association Anonymes, Justes et persécutés durant la période nazie.
Anyone wishing to attend the lecture should register, and the number of places is limited (please bring an identity document): info@struthof.fr


2012 edition

"Human rights are for all or for none," Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland said on 25 January, when opening the ceremony in memory of the Holocaust in front of the Palais de l'Europe.

Tarja Halonen (President of Finland), Jean-Claude Mignon (President of the Parliamentary Assembly) and Doron Avital (Delegation of the Knesset to PACE) participated in the memorial service.

Wreaths were laid in front of the commemorative stone.


2011 edition

A ceremony marking International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust took place on 27 January, on the forecourt of the Palais de l'Europe. Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland started the memorial service. Statements of respect were offered by Traian Basescu, President of Romania, Mevlüt Çavusoglu, President of the Parliamentary Assembly and René Gutman, Grand Rabbin du Bas-Rhin.