Guy Parmelin «Remember the victims, prevent further atrocities»

COMMEMORATION

President of the Confederation Guy Parmelin sends a commemoration message on the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust

 Guy Parmelin «Remember the victims, prevent further atrocities»
«Remember the victims, prevent further atrocities»

Guy Parmelin «Remember the victims, prevent further atrocities»

«Remember the victims, prevent further atrocities»

Exactly one year ago, dozens of heads of state and government, including the president of the Confederation, and Holocaust survivors, including three of our compatriots, solemnly commemorated the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi extermination camp of Auschwitz- Birkenau. Together, they pledged to perpetuate the memory of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, of non-Jewish victims of the Third Reich, such as Roma, Sinti and Yenish, as well as the memory of other crimes committed by Germany and allies.

Similar ceremonies would also have been held in the places of other extermination and concentration camps. Above all, they would have remembered that the Holocaust is not just about Auschwitz or just the camps. However, due to the current pandemic, these commemorations have had to be canceled.

However, the current health crisis must not make us forget what our society bases peace and cohesion on: the spirit of openness, the sense of dialogue and the expression of respect. It is certainly necessary to place greater emphasis on these aspects when society is in the grip of difficulties, induced to withdraw in on itself, prone to exclusion, in the wrong and flawed belief that these same difficulties are caused by others.

Each period of instability favors extremist tones and unhealthy impulses. A glance at international current events is enough to be convinced. This psychological mechanism must be denounced and the temptation of violence averted at all costs. Today, as in the past, we therefore strongly condemn all forms of anti-Semitism, discrimination and racism.

Other genocides have been perpetrated since 1945 and it is important today to take concrete action to prevent new ones. Switzerland was a pioneer in this field by establishing the «Global Action against Mass Atrocity Crimes» a few years ago, a global action against crimes related to mass atrocities: a network that brings together representatives of states, experts and representatives of civil society from all continents in order to develop prevention tools.

«The horror of the Holocaust does not lie in the fact that it represents a deviation from human norms, the horror is that it has not diverged from it at all», wrote Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer. What happened can happen again, though not in exactly the same way, not by the Germans against the Jews, but by anyone against anyone else». «We are all potential victims, potential executioners, potential spectators.»

Let us remember the victims and act concretely so that these atrocities never happen again

Guy Parmelin, President of the Confederation

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