Ambassadör Bachman talade igår i Stockholms Stora synagoga. Här kan ni läsa hans tal.
Your Majesties, Honourable Prime Minister, Esteemed Heads of the Jewish Community, Ministers, Excellencies, Rabbis and Members of the Community – FRIENDS,
Today, exactly 70 years have passed, since the day Auschwitz was finally liberated by the Red Army, revealing to the world the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi war of extermination, against the entire Jewish people. An inconceivable crime, unparalleled in the history of mankind.
Still, our will to live and to survive as a people, proved stronger than the murderous assault on our very existence. Heroic struggles ensured the rebirth of the Jewish people, as well as the re-establishment of the Jewish State – Israel – in the ancient homeland of our people. Out of the ashes of the Holocaust, a new era was born, and it was with entire faith that we said to ourselves and the world: ‘Never again – Remember and Never forget’!
Indeed, the Jewish people has a flourishing State, The State of Israel – a shelter to any Jew, in any community worldwide, as anti-Semitic hatred is once again raising its head across Europe and the entire world.
If there is anything that Auschwitz proved beyond doubt, this is that anti-Semitism is a baseless but murderous, deadly hate – a disease of the mind which has claimed millions of innocent lives.
As I bow my head in silence, out of respect for the victims – in silence, because no words can adequately describe their suffering and loss – I also feel it is my duty to speak out against the hatred for Jews – and Israel, as the Jewish state.
The recent, horrendous terrorist attacks in Paris, in the very heart of Europe, where Jews were murdered in cold blood in a kosher supermarket, simply for being Jews, must serve as a wake-up call to all of us. As we grieve for the victims and mourn the loss of irreplaceable lives, we must make a solemn vow to end this incitement, this hatred, this violence. We must not allow for more lives to be lost or ruined – enough is enough!
While we are witnessing all of this, the European Union is preparing important changes in privacy legislation which would make the access to European archives, including most Holocaust documentation, considerably more difficult, and might also affect the possibilities for some survivors to receive the compensation – however inadequate – to which they are entitled. Of course this is all deeply worrying.
At the same time, I was very encouraged to see that so many prominent representatives of official Sweden participated in the Kipa Walk at the end of this summer. Still, it is every day realities which will have to be changed in such a way, that Swedish Jews will be able to be open about their Jewish identity, without any fear of hesitations whatsoever.
While peaceful worshippers in a synagogue, like the one in which we find ourselves right now, are being brutally murdered in Israel – simply for being Jews – the merest expression of support even for Israel´s basic right to defend itself, risks being met with an outpouring of racist abuse and hate speech. This is a deeply disturbing and worrying development which should and must be addressed.
I am particularly glad that, this year, the Prime Minister has chosen to honour us with his presence and show his commitment to the ongoing struggle against anti-Semitism. It sends a very important signal – THANK YOU!
I know that in this very ceremony there are survivors of Auschwits itself, as well as other extermination camps, and also those that suffered in so many other ways and places, during the horrible years of the Nazi tyranny in Europe.
You have built new lives and started families, you have ensured the future of the ancient Jewish people – our nation – and you have contributed to society at large, and mankind. Your lesson has been learned and we will take on, no matter what, the task of ensuring for the future: ‘Never again – remember and never forget’!
Ambassadens biträdande beskickningschef Uri Rothman talade i Malmö synagoga.
Distinguish guests, dear friends of the Jewish community in Malmo,
I am honored to speak to you on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year we mark 70 years since the Allied armies liberated the largest concentration Camp of Auschwitz Birkenau where hundreds of thousands of Jews were exterminated by the Nazi German regime. The extermination of Jews and other minorities such as the Roma people during the Second World War is one of the greatest crimes in human history. It happened in Europe, in modern time, and it was carried out by well educated people.
When we today reflect on the atrocities of the Holocaust, and on how so many people were mobilized to massacre so many other fellow human beings, we have to realize that it did not happen over the course of just one day. To isolate the Jews, to herd them in the Ghettos, to distinguish them from others, to transfer them in trains from all over Europe and eventually to exterminate 6 million Jews, you need to create the ‘right conditions’. The hatred toward Jews was common in Europe for many years and was well based on extreme religious interpretation of the New Testament. But there was still a need to inflame the minds of many people in order to provoke them to take actions against the Jews.
This is why conspiracy theories were created and played a major role in the final solution of the Jews in Europe. Based on blood labels that the Jews were using the blood of Christian children for Passover or that they had a custom of harvesting the organs of others, new conspiracies were created to depict the Jews as responsible for everything that was wrong and unjust with society and attributed them with malicious intentions to rule the world. Only on the basis of the assumptions that Jews are considered a danger to world peace was the final solution eventually accepted and brutally implemented.
Unfortunately we see that these theories and conspiracies still exist today. However those false allegations are not only directed toward the Jews as individuals, but as a collective – namely on Israel. Israel’s actions have too often served to explain anti-Semitic acts in the Middle East, in Europe and also in the city of Malmo. The methods are the same – false interpretations, exaggerations, pure incitement and spreading modern conspiracies that makes you believe the Jewish state is the most dangerous country for world stability. Israel has become the Jew among Nations as Prof. Allen Derschovitz formulated it.
During the past 4 years the world has witness a new era of growing hatred and ruthless atrocities in the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of people are being murdered; millions are being deported or chased away from their homes because of their faith or because of their ethnicity. This horrible reality resembles Europe during the thirties and the forties of the 20th century. Thousands are being massacred in horrific ways by the Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Rogue regimes like the one in Syria are using chemical weapon to mass murder their own population. Muslims – be it Sunnis or Shiats, Christians and Yezisidis are all exterminated in accordance with an extreme and malicious interpretation of Islam. Unlike the Jews who have built their homeland many minorities in the Middle East do not have a country to protect them, and so they flee to save their lives and come to Europe; they also reach Sweden.
The Nazi regime was defeated in 1945. But, if Hitler had been alive today he would probably have been joyful about the fact that his extreme ideas are still spreading throughout the Middle East. He would have been encouraged by the fact that there are almost no Jews left in the Middle East. It has become Judenrein – an area free of Jews. Jewish life was once flourishing in Iraq, in Egypt and in Morocco. But Jews were the first to pay the price of intolerance and hatred of the other, which is the root of the problem in the Arab World. Hitler would have been satisfied that his writings and ideas gain much popularity in the Arab World: Mein Kampf is a best seller in Egypt, leaders of Iran deny the Holocaust and the Palestinian organization Hamas has a Nazi like charter calling for the extermination of all the Jews. Hitler would probably be encouraged to see how the Jewish home-land, the state of Israel has became a target for poisonous propaganda not only in the Middle East but also in Europe. The sole democracy in the Middle East is often chosen to be one of the most hated countries in the world according to recent polls. But, Hitler would have been devastated to see that the Jewish state, the home land and safe haven for Jews from Europe and from the Middle East, is flourishing today.
During the past few years we have seen a deterioration of the situation for Jews in Europe and in Sweden in particular. Jews are facing two growing threats in Europe. The economic crisis and the immigration from the Middle East have given rise to extreme right wing movements. These movements are coming with old-new racist ideas to make the lives of minorities unbearable. And an even more lethal threat is the rise of the new Anti-Semitism. Distorted presentation of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, Radical Islamism and hatred are all blend into an ongoing harassment of Jews. Thus, Jews do no longer feel free in many places and among them in the city of Malmo. In some cases the responsible authorities are hiding behind false explanations by blaming Israel. Such was the case of the former Mayor of Malmo. In other cases just mentioning the right of Israel to defend itself provokes calls for Hitler to exterminate the Jews. Such were some of the recent reactions to the post published by the Prime Minister of Sweden Mr. Stefan Lofven. The incitement and harassment of Jews must be stopped before it’s too late. Actions should be taken not only to teach about history, but also to severely punish those who perpetrate hate crimes.
On the eve of the Holocaust Memorial day I would like to send a clear message from the State of Israel to our brothers and sisters – the Jews in Malmo: We are with you in our hearts: Am Yisrael Chay – The People of Israel Live !