The general secretary of the UN, Antonio Guterres, launched this Wednesday a call for the unity of the international community in the face of the obvious signs of the resurgence of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, a phenomenon that has found a favorable breeding ground with the COVID crisis.
“Neo-Nazis and their ideas are gaining respectability“Guterres denounced at a ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance Day, which commemorates the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by Soviet troops today 76 years ago, and which this time took place online because of the pandemic .
He regretted that in some countries his ideas, like those of other supremacists, and the denial of the murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime are penetrating certain political parties. Also that there are cases of infiltration of the police and the security services in some countries.
Guterres also pointed out that the context of crisis caused by the coronavirus it is an opportunity for these groups to spread their ideas. “Together we have to urgently unite our efforts against the danger they pose,” stressed the Portuguese politician, who said that we must “coordinate global action” to fight supremacism and its “propaganda” and “disinformation” strategies.
He recalled that one of the objectives with the creation of the UN at the end of the Second World War and with the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was to put an end to the discrimination and persecution that Jews and their communities had suffered throughout throughout history, something that, he acknowledged, has not been achieved.
“There is no vaccine against anisemitism”
“There is no vaccine against anti-Semitism and xenophobia“, he warned, before guaranteeing that the organization he represents will continue its action for equity and against discrimination.
Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated Germany’s commitment to keep alive the memory of crimes perpetrated on behalf of their country by the Nazi regime and the tribute to its victims, whose best-known symbol is precisely the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. He thanked the survivors of these persecutions for continuing to bear witness to what they suffered because it highlights “how vulnerable human dignity is and how easily human values can be violated.”
Indeed, one of those who took part in the online commemorative session was Irene Butter, a Jewish survivor of the Nazi death camps born in Berlin in 1930, who told how her family took refuge in Amsterdam in 1937 to flee from the Nazis They had taken power in Germany since 1933. However, with the invasion of the Netherlands by German troops in 1940, the family was interned first in their host country and then in the Bergen-Belsen camp in Germany. The death of her father at the end of the Second World War was compounded by the separation she suffered from her mother and brother, who had to be hospitalized, and with whom she could only be reunited after 19 months in New York.
Unesco and Facebook Alliance
Unesco Director General Audrey Azoulay announced a joint initiative with the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and Facebook to combat Holocaust denial on that social network.
Specific, Facebook directs all its users to do searches associated with the Holocaust, to denialism or to “the manipulation of history” towards an information internet site about those facts.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, weighed in on the warning that “anti-Semitism is growing”, complaining that “too many ignore and tolerate it.” But above all, he took advantage of the rostrum to charge against “the tyrannical Iranian regime” that “promotes Holocaust denialism and openly repeats its intention to annihilate the only Jewish state”, alluding to his country. In his opinion, “The international community cannot allow” Tehran’s attitude and it must “support Israel” in its defense of the Jews.