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28 August 2017
The Secretary-General's remarks to the press at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial
Jerusalem, 28 August 2017
This visit to Yad Vashem is a tribute to the Jewish people, victims of the most hideous crime against humanity in the history of mankind and a tribute to the courage of the survivors whose testimony we all have the obligation to repeat to make sure that the future generations will never forget the Holocaust.
I was particularly impressed by the first room. The first room gives clearly the idea that the Holocaust was not a crazy initiative of a group of paranoid Nazis but it was the combination of millennia, of persecution and discrimination of the Jewish people of what we today call antiSemitism.
Anti-Semitism; my own country also lived it and I would recall the most tragic moment of them all with the expulsion of the Jews in the beginning of the 16th century. I believe that the horror of the Holocaust should be such that anti-Semitism should now be dead forever but, unfortunately, we see it alive and well.
I was shocked a few [days] ago to listen to the chant of a group of neo Nazis in developed country in the world chanting “blood and soil”- slogan of the Nazis. That is a dramatic demonstration that it is our duty to do everything possible and as Secretary General of the United Nations I fully assume that commitment to do everything possible to fight anti-Semitism in all its expressions. As I said I’m truly committed to fight anti-Semitism, as to fight racism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim hatred and all other forms of bigotry that unfortunately we are not yet able to make our world free of.
Allow me also to congratulate all those that have conceived, built and work in this remarkable memorial that so strongly impresses us all.
Thank you very much.