Brussels, January 20 (TASR) – Anti-Semitism stems from hatred and intolerance, and such language mustn’t make it into the vocabulary of politicians, Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (a Smer-SD nominee), who on Sunday participated in the first International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) ministerial meeting in Brussels, has stated for TASR.
Lajcak welcomed “the strong message” that the countries participating in the meeting conveyed, expressing appreciation for the fact that it was also attended by Holocaust survivors.
The minister noted that the meeting of the alliance, which has 34 member countries, commemorated the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp as well as the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust, which, according to him, can be considered “a basic document” for defining anti-Semitism.
“We spoke about what measures individual governments have been adopting. I mentioned the fact that the Slovak Parliament has adopted a definition of anti-Semitism, the definition that this alliance was the very first [organisation] to adopt. I also spoke about the Museum of the Holocaust in Sered [Trnava region]. But most importantly we all agreed that we mustn’t allow the language of hatred and intolerance to make it into political vocabulary,” said Lajcak, adding that they adopted a ministerial declaration confirming their commitments and speaking about the Roma Holocaust and genocide.
When asked how Europe can minimise expressions of anti-Semitism and intolerance, Lajcak said that the answers lie within the IHRA, among other things.
The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust is held on January 27. It was proclaimed by the General Assembly of the UN in 2005.