The Spanish Senate marked the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp with a ceremony held at the plenary.
The event was chaired by the President of the Senate, Pilar Llop, who pledged the Spanish Upper House’s commitment to preserving the memory and human dignity.
The President also affirmed that “in order to protect fundamental rights we do not tolerate denial or distortion of the Holocaust”. Ms. Llop also added that “the survivors ask us not to forget.”
The President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE), Isaac Benzaquén, said that it is “essential that the State and civil society promote educational policies to prevent antisemitism. It still remains a challenge for policy makers and teachers.
Mr. Benzaquén commended the autonomous communities (regions) of Madrid and Aragón for introducing the study of Jewish culture in their respective educational curricula and confirmed that the Parliament of Andalusia has proposed a similar initative.
Representatives of the Roma community, as well as of the Amical de Mauthausen also addressed the ceremony. Subsequently, six candles were lit, in memory of all the victims of the Holocaust, as well as the Righteous Among the Nations.
The First Vice President of the Spanish Governmen, Carmen Calvo, addressed those present, assuring with emotion that “this act is not on the agenda but in all of our consciences”
Ms. Calvo pointed out that the world faces denialism, an extraordinary danger to our very existence, stressing that the Government’s commitment is firm and that “we will not stop for a single minute in the fight for the values of coexistence and democracy.”
Ms. Calvo announced that the Spanish Government is preparing two laws: one on Democratic Memory and one on Equal Treatment, “which allow us to assume the right to anti-discrimination against hate crimes.”
The Vice President closed her speech by assuring that “many words are not needed. But I will keep remembering, and keeping the memory alive. Forgetting is a crime against Memory ”.