Holocaust marking across Norway on Sunday

Auschwitz HolocaustThe Main gate of German concentration camp, Auschwitz I (the main camp). Photo: xiquinhosilva/wikimedia.org

The International Day of Holocaust Victims is marked several places in Norway on Sunday. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, states during the marking of the day in Berlin, that the fight against anti-Semitism must continue.

In Norway, the national memorial marking is held at the Akershus Quay in Oslo, where the memorial over deported Norwegian Jews is placed. 550 Norwegian Jews were deported to Germany from there in November 1942, assisted by the Norwegian police.

Minister of Knowledge and Integration, Jan Tore Sanner (Conservatives), and Cantor of the Mosaic Faith in Norway, Tal Cohen, will speak. Jan Grue, Nino Danielli Josef and John Arne-Moen will hold appeals as well.

The Norwegian HL Centre is arranging the annual event.

Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide (Conservatives), tweets about the Holocaust Day:

«On the Holocaust Day, we remember the millions of innocent persons who lost their lives during the Holocaust. It is our joint responsibility to prevent such atrocities from happening ever again.»

The day is also marked in Trondheim, Stavanger and Levanger, among other places.

The International Day of Holocaust Victims is a marking of the freeing of the survivors from the various Nazi concentration camps in Auschwitz-Birkenau (Oswiecim) in Poland on January 27th, 1945, by the Red Army.

In 2005, the UN General Assembly decided that the day should be an international memorial day.

The fight against anti-Semitism must continue
This day is an opportunity for us to think about what racist fanaticism, hatred and inhumanity can lead to, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel (CDU), underlines in her weekly podcast on Sunday.

“Each person is responsible for ensuring that we show zero tolerance to anti-Semitism, inhumanity, hatred, and racist fanaticism. Unfortunately, this is once again a matter of urgency in our time,” the Chancellor continues.

A worried German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, contributes as well.

“What we need now, is a new approach in order to learn from history,” He writes in a chronicle in the Sunday edition of the German newspaper Die Welt.

Fears loss of knowledge
He believes the approach should not only take place to commemorate history but to understand historical events as well. Maas points out that the Nazi era and the Holocaust are becoming increasingly distant to the public as time passes on.

“For someone born today, the Crystal Night (Kristallnacht) is just as long ago as the reign of Bismarck was when I was born. It changes how such events are remembered,” writes Maas.

The Crystal Night took place on November 9th, 1938, when synagogues and shops owned by Jews in Germany were looted and set ablaze. The streets were covered by shards of glass from the storefronts, hence the nickname.

Several million European Jews, Gypsies and others were anhilated in concentration camps during the Nazi rule. On January 27, 1945, the prisoners in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and annihilation camps were liberated by the Red Army. In 2005, the UN General Assembly decided that the day should become an international memorial day for the Holocaust.

The British in doubt
In a survey that was presented on Sunday, it emerges that one in twenty Britons does not believe that the Holocaust took place.

The survey also reveals that almost two-thirds either do not know how many Jews were killed before and during World War II – or grossly underestimates the number of annihilated in the ethnic cleansing.

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is behind the survey, which is conducted among more than 2,000 persons.

“The Holocaust threatened the composition of civilisation and has consequences for us all. This kind of widespread ignorance and denial is shocking,” Leader of the Foundation, Olivia Marks-Woldman comments.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today