Dear President Tajani,
Dear Members of the Bureau,
We are writing to you to express our deep sadness and inability to understand the position of the EP, as a democratic institution, about the non-inclusive commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust during the yearly EP Holocaust Remembrance Day, and to request your help to change this practice concerning the next official Commemorations, which are planned for January 2019.
Let us inform you that the European Parliament commemorated all the victims of the Holocaust for the first time this year after a long and difficult process of “lobbying”.
Following on the instructions of the Holocaust commemoration task force, the office of Soraya Post has been in continuous conversation with the relevant task force colleague, Mr Fearghas O´Beara, working intensively on the inclusive nature of the next Holocaust Remembrance Day, discussing that
– there will be an opening speech of President Tajani,
– an invitation to two Holocaust survivors – a Jewish and a Roma survivor – to deliver a speech,
– there will be an EP video about all the different victim groups and survivors of the Holocaust,
– the Roma and Sinti Orchestra will perform a couple of solemn musical pieces – the concrete list of the proposed pieces were already sent to the preparation committee by the Roma and Sinti Orchestra through the office of Soraya Post in September following the request of Mr O´Beara, and
– the commemoration will be closed with the Kaddish.
Therefore, it came as a surprise to all of us, that “as a way of upgrading” the commemoration, there will only be a short ceremony in the Hemicycle during the mini plenary in January 2019 with President Tajani´s speech, a one-minute silence and the performance of the Kaddish. And that in parallel, the European Jewish Congress will hold its usual ceremony under the patronage of President Tajani in the Yehudi Menuhin space similarly to their practice of the previous years, going against the principle of an inclusive event following this year’s commemoration.
Let us also inform you that two of us who are the co-chairs of the LGBTI intergroup have also written to President Tajani asking him to ensure that Roma, LGBTI and disabled victims of the Holocaust are included in the official commemorations alongside Jewish victims. We have not received any answer to our letter.
We think that we can all agree that it goes against the spirit and the purpose of the Holocaust commemoration to create an image that some of the victims are less important than others.
Especially in our societies today where there is a continuous spread of racism, homophobia and intolerance, it is of the uppermost importance and should be in the interest of this house to ensure an inclusive commemoration of the Holocaust.
Therefore, we request your help to change the decision relating to the official commemorations of the EP in January 2019, and making it a day of remembering all the victims of the Holocaust sharing the position of the UN resolution designating the day of remembrance.
We look forward to receiving your reply.
Soraya Post MEP
Terry Reintke MEP
Daniele Viotti MEP