Jerusalem Post: Holocaust survivors must receive COVID-19 vaccine without delay – EJC head

European Union member states must ensure that Holocaust survivors have access to the COVID-19 vaccine without delay, European Jewish Congress (EJC) president Dr. Moshe Kantor insisted ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Speaking during a joint International Holocaust Remembrance Day event, co-hosted by the European Commission and EJC, he said that “we have all been lost during the current pandemic, but the survivors of the Holocaust even more so.”

He explained that due to the health crisis, many Holocaust survivors are dying alone and in pain, while others are still in the fight for their lives. The extreme isolation of quarantines and lockdowns has a massive impact on the community, as well.

“We have a duty to survivors, to ensure that they are able to live their last years in dignity, without fear, and in the company of their loved ones,” he said. “Therefore, I call on European leaders to ensure that Holocaust survivors have access as soon as possible to a safe and effective vaccination and with the highest priority.”

The pandemic saw a dramatic and concerning rise of antisemitism, neo-Nazism and conspiracy theories against Jews, Kantor explained. He called on EU member states to address this issue, as well.

“As we pay tribute to the victims of the biggest tragedy in history, we must not forget the fundamental lesson that in times of crisis, extremism can rise rapidly,” he said. “The pandemic has created the social conditions where antisemitism and extremism thrive. The human mind, like the human body, is fragile to mutating viruses. And so are our democracies and our shared values of human rights and freedoms.”

Kantor insisted that it is the responsibility of humankind to stop hate speech and conspiracy theories such as those egged on amid the pandemic. He nevertheless praised the EU member states for addressing the issue “by recognizing that antisemitism needs to be fought across all policy areas.”

“This year, against the backdrop of the pandemic, we are all asked to find new forms of remembrance,” said European Commission vice president Margaritis Schinas, also speaking during the International Holocaust Remembrance Day event.

“It is a painful reminder of how incredible a privilege it is for our generation to be able to listen to the first-hand accounts of those who directly experienced the tragedy of the Holocaust. We have a duty to listen, to remember. But also, a duty to act decisively against antisemitism in its contemporary forms,” he concluded.


Subscribe to EJC newsletter

Get EJC's bi-weekly newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.


EJC President Kantor praises the Pope for impromptu visit to Holocaust survivor

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor praised Pope Francis who visited a Holocaust survivor in her Rome apartment to pay tribute to all those who suffered from what he called “the craziness of Nazi populism.”

At IHRD event, Dr. Moshe Kantor calls on EU member states to ensure that Holocaust survivors receive COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible

During a joint International Holocaust Remembrance Day event, co-hosted with the European Commission, EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor called on the member states of the European Union to ensure that Holocaust survivors have access to a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

EJC to host joint International Holocaust Remembrance Day event with the European Commission

The European Jewish Congress, will host an online event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 25 January 2021 at 16:00 CET in cooperation with the European Commission.

The event will feature EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor, Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental.

EJC welcomes practical handbook on the IHRA definition of antisemitism

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor welcomed the publication of a handbook for the practical use of the working definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) as a key tool in the fight against anti-Jewish hatred in Europe.