WJC President Lauder welcomes proposal to require German migrants to visit Holocaust memorials

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder on Wednesday welcomed a proposal issued by a Berlin politician that would require new German migrants to visit concentrations camp memorials as an effort to combat anti-Semitism.

“The World Jewish Congress welcomes the governing mayor of Berlin’s proposal requiring new German migrants to visit concentration camp memorials. This proposal is an encouraging and effective method of educating people of all backgrounds about the Nazi attempt to wipe out the entire Jewish population of Europe and the dangers such hatred can yield," said Lauder in a statement  to the New York Times. “More than any other country, Germany has faced up to the crimes of its past in an honest and straightforward way, and has made it clear at the highest levels of government that the memory of the Holocaust must never be forgotten or diminished. We urge other European governments to embrace the same model."

Lauder added: “We deeply appreciate the efforts of the German government, both ongoing and in recent years, to combat anti-Semitism, particularly in light of the increasing demonstrations of all forms of xenophobia and hatred rearing their heads at the populist levels. No citizen should have to live in fear or danger. Germany knows far too well the horrors that can arise from such demonstrations of hatred and has made great strides to institutionalize the message that it cannot be allowed to happen again. We must not rest until this message is heard loudly and clearly.”

The World Jewish Congress earlier this week launched its second annual We Remember social media campaign, the world’s largest Holocaust commemoration event, aimed at combating all forms of anti-Semitism, hatred and xenophobia. As part of the campaign, the WJC is asking people to take a picture of themselves holding a sign bearing the words #WeRemember, to post on social media and share as widely as possible. 

“We must remember because there are fewer survivors among us, and within a given time, there will be nobody left to bear witness. It is now the responsibility of today’s younger generation to teach their friends about the horrors of hatred, and to spread the message that never again must mean never again," Lauder said.

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