This Sunday, the 27th of January, it is marked the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, a date observed as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day; a day in which all Europeans should come together honouring the victims and reflecting on the atrocities committed on European soil less than a century ago.
Last Autumn, during a Bureau meeting held in Silesia, the members of the EFAy Bureau had the opportunity to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, located in the town of Oświęcim, near Silesian lands. It was a deeply moving experience for all of us, witnessing the remainders and learning about the atrocious crimes against humanity committed there. 74 years later, us the youth of Europe, must not let that legacy be forgotten in history, and we should clearly stand up for the values that defeated fascism in 1945.
This anniversary comes at a time in which populism and far-right nationalism is on the rise all over Europe; and that worries us. We are witnessing how the rhetoric that strengthened fascist parties in the last century is being once again brought to the political mainstream, and even more worryingly, how some established political figures, are turning to it, in fear of losing their influence.
The youth of Europe’s stateless nations and minorities, know what fascism meant for our ancestors, who suffered, along with other groups, mainly Jews, Roma or LGBT people, discrimination, racism, violence or even detention and extermination. We know that far-right fascists and populists will always try to blame the guilt of all evil on minorities; on politically weak minorities, easy to blame, creating the environment for racism to develop. It is now up to us to realise that we are witnessing how, once again, that rhetoric is becoming more and more strong all over Europe. Minorities are still being unfairly blamed, never mind if they are local minorities, migrants, refugees, Jews, Muslims or LGBT people.
It is time to unite against fascism, time to unite against those populists who propose easy solutions to difficult problems, blaming everything on the same-old “weak minority”. We should not let Europe go back into the spiral of hate, discrimination and violence that changed Europe’s history forever.
This Sunday we shall honour the victims, and commit ourselves by saying “Never again!”. #WeRemember