Antwerp commemorates victims of the Holocaust. Sant'Egidio and the Jewish community: "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it"Historical memoryYouth for PeaceHolocaust
On Sunday, September 22, 2019, a memorial walk took place in Antwerp to commemorate the deportation of Jews during World War II. Sant’Egidio organized this memorial walk in cooperation with the Jewish community under the message "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it".
The walk ended at the Monument of the Deportees, where a few speeches were given. This year's speakers were Cardinal Jozef De Kesel, Chief Rabbi of Brussels Albert Guigui, Antwerp member of council Jinnih Beels and Omar Oulal of the Youth for Peace who took part in the youth meeting in Auschwitz-Birkenau this summer.
Cardinal Jozef De Kesel: “Racism and anti-Semitism are an attack on humanity. Today is our great opportunity: to build a society in which there is room for people and groups from different cultures and religions".
Brussels Chief Rabbi Albert Guigui addressed the many young people present: “I want to say to you young people: don't forget history. It is up to you to build the Europe of tomorrow. A Europe of freedom and values. "
Jinnih Beels also spoke to those present and apologized in her speech on behalf of all police officers for the raids on the Jews to which the Antwerp police assisted during WWII.
On behalf of the Youth for Peace of Sant'Egidio, who this summer participated in the youth meeting in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Omar Oulal took the floor: “After our visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau we, as Youth for Peace, made a decision: that when we see how people are set against each other, we will stand up and that we will make our voices be heard. That when one calls for hatred, we will stand up to proclaim love and solidarity. That is my job as a Muslim and as someone who is part of the Community of Sant’Egidio, but especially as a person, as someone who is part of the human family”.
After a minute of silence for the victims, the prayer for the dead, the Kel Malei Rachamim, was brought by Sam Spiegel of the Jewish community. Afterwards, young and old people of different origins and religious beliefs laid flowers together at the foot of the monument. To never forget.