Auschwitz, the Holocaust and human rights: Universal lessons for our time

There are 13 lessons that bear recall and reminder, which should serve as an action guide for parliamentarians, as well as for civil society.

This week, we marked the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most brutal of the extermination camps.

Two years ago, I participated in the largest ever inter-parliamentary delegation to mark International Remembrance Day at Auschwitz- Birkenau.

For me, as for my fellow Jewish and non-Jewish parliamentarians, it was a uniquely moving and painful moment – of bearing witness to horrors too terrible to be believed, but not too terrible to have happened.

From 1941 to 1944, 1.3 million people were murdered at Auschwitz – of whom 1.1 million were Jews, recalling Elie Wiesel’s dictum that “the Holocaust was a war against the Jews in which not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims.”
 

A red rose lies at Gleis 17 (platform 17) holocaust memorial at a former cargo railway station in Berlin-Grunewald. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A red rose lies at Gleis 17 (platform 17) holocaust memorial at a former cargo railway station in Berlin-Grunewald. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Excerpt from:

IRWIN COTLER
The Jerusalem Post
Published: January 28, 2016