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Slovakia commemorates liberation of Auschwitz

Post-war generations are obliged to remember the victims of the Holocaust as a strong reminder of the fragility of civilisation and its values, the press section of the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry told the TASR on January 27, the day marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the infamous concentration camp Auschwitz. 

The struggle for human rights and dignity was not decided once and for all and it continues, noted the ministry statement.

On January 27, the world commemorates the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration and extermination camp complex in Poland, the site where Jews, Roma, the disabled and other vulnerable groups were murdered. The United Nations has designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Moreover, this year is the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the so-called Stockholm Declaration (Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust) which entailed the creation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The Alliance is an international platform for cooperation in the field of commemorations, education and research relating to the Holocaust. It has 31 member countries including Slovakia, which joined in 2005.

Central Union of Jewish Communities spokeswoman Lucia Kollárová, stressed for the SITA newswire the importance of this date. She added that Slovakia has become a safe and friendly home for Jews, but in the context of western Europe, situation has changed in recent years.

Speaker of Parliament Peter Pellegrini opened parliament with a minute of silence, thus commemorating the victims of terrorism, and the Holocaust, TASR wrote.

Across Slovakia several commemorative films were screened. In the Záhrada - Centre of Independent Culture in Banská Bystrica, the documentary Returning to the Burning House / Návrat do horiaceho domu was screened, telling the story of Jewish hero Haviva Reik. The event is organised by the Not in Our City / Nie v našom meste civic platform and Anzio company on January 27.

On that day, the film Colette, a feature film about the romance between two war detainees, made based on a novel by writer Arnošt Lustig, was screened by the public RTVS 1 TV channel. Earlier in January, a documentary movie about Lustig who was himself Auschwitz – and Buchenwald camp – survivor and author of many literary works was screened at RTVS 2 channel.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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