The European Union and Holocaust remembrance

21-01-2019

The term Holocaust refers to the mass murder of 6 million European Jews, Roma and other persecuted groups whom the Nazi regime and its collaborators sought to annihilate. The expropriation of property, state discrimination and persecution of the Jews by the Nazi regime began in 1933, followed by pogroms and incarceration in concentration camps. Ultimately, the policy was extended to all the European territories and countries controlled by the Nazis during the Second World War. It was a policy that would culminate in mass summary executions ('Holocaust by Bullets') and extermination camps. The perpetrators were prosecuted at the Nuremberg trials in 1945-1946, but the charge of crimes against humanity was preferred over genocide. It was not until 2005, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, that a United Nations resolution on Holocaust remembrance designated 27 January as the day of commemoration. In the European Union, numerous programmes seek to preserve the memory of these tragic events in the history of the continent. Since 1995, the European Parliament has adopted resolutions drawing attention to the obligation to remember not only through commemorations but also through education. In November 2018, the EU became a permanent international partner of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (AISH). This is an updated version of a briefing from January 2018.

The term Holocaust refers to the mass murder of 6 million European Jews, Roma and other persecuted groups whom the Nazi regime and its collaborators sought to annihilate. The expropriation of property, state discrimination and persecution of the Jews by the Nazi regime began in 1933, followed by pogroms and incarceration in concentration camps. Ultimately, the policy was extended to all the European territories and countries controlled by the Nazis during the Second World War. It was a policy that would culminate in mass summary executions ('Holocaust by Bullets') and extermination camps. The perpetrators were prosecuted at the Nuremberg trials in 1945-1946, but the charge of crimes against humanity was preferred over genocide. It was not until 2005, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, that a United Nations resolution on Holocaust remembrance designated 27 January as the day of commemoration. In the European Union, numerous programmes seek to preserve the memory of these tragic events in the history of the continent. Since 1995, the European Parliament has adopted resolutions drawing attention to the obligation to remember not only through commemorations but also through education. In November 2018, the EU became a permanent international partner of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (AISH). This is an updated version of a briefing from January 2018.