Seventy years later we are witnessing a similar spectre of tyranny over parts of the world as the Iranian regime exports its fanaticism and culture of death around the world.
This, while oppressing its own people and most importantly building a nuclear weapons program that can threaten its neighbours, parts of Europe and moving its range menacingly further and further.
World War II resulted in the death of tens of millions of civilians, including six million Jews, and sent the European continent into a bloodbath for the ensuing six years.
The European Jewish Congress – the democratically elected representative body of European Jewish communities – remembers the heroism of those who lead the fight against tyranny that cast a dark shadow over the continent.
Although the two regimes and eras are markedly different, the European Jewish Congress has called on the international community to take a firm stand on the issues of similarities between the two.
We now know that much of the bloodshed that began in September 1939 could have been avoided if some leaders had taken the Nazis at their word. So too we see people dismiss Iranian leaders when they call for the destruction of other nations and a call for regional and international hegemony.
Just like the Nazi military campaigns were predated by a putsch and brutal excesses against its own people, so too we see the Iranian regime steal power and crush any rebellion or differences in its nation.
The European Jewish Congress is calling on European governments to act now to prevent a repeat of the mistakes of the past and thwart a catastrophe in the making.
The greatest lesson of the past is not to wait until it’s too late because the cost is always far greater than taking no action.
The clock is ticking and all that remains to be seen is how people decades in the future will judge our actions when they count the cost of inaction and procrastination. This is a critical point in time and will determine the world in which we live.