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Press Information published by the International Auschwitz Committee


Ahead of the European Parliament elections: IAC signs Mauthausen Appeal

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Mauthausen Appeal of the International Committees of the Nazi Extermination and Concentration Camps

ahead of the European Parliament elections
23-26 May 2019


On May 5th, 2019, on the occasion of the international ceremonies commemorating the liberation of the Mauthausen Nazi Camp in Austria, the Representatives of the International Committees of the Nazi Extermination and Concentration Camps climbed the 186 stairs of the stairway of death, emblem of the Mauthausen Camp, in order to reaffirm their attachment to the protection of Memorial sites and the public's free access to them.

Today, they would like to launch the following appeal:

“As guardians of the memory of the prisoners of the nazi extermination and concentration camps and the values they defended – often to their deaths –,

We, the representatives of the International Committees of the Nazi Extermination and Concentration Camps,

Profoundly worried by the nationalist, populist, and xenophobic policies enacted by a number of governments of the states of our continent,

Considering that these policies are in fundamental contradiction with the spirit of the different oaths made by the detainees upon their liberation, in particular by those of Mauthausen and Buchenwald,

Evaluating the grave threat that these policies represent for our collective destiny because of their appeals to violence, to hate, and to antidemocratic practices,

We consider it to be our duty to draw the European Parliament's undivided attention:

  • to the danger of the political and human deviations that we are witnessing today,
  • to the calling into question of the fundamental values which, in the aftermath of the Second World War, had served as the bedrock upon which a peaceful, tolerant Europe was founded, which cared about social progress and was resolutely vigilant to commit itself so that the roots of the national socialist evil would never regrow,
  • to the historical fact that today's Europe was born well before the signature of the Treaty of Rome: it was born in the midst of the suffering of the nazi camps, in the hearts and minds of these tens of thousands of men and women, from all over a Europe occupied and ravaged by national socialism.

As the guardians of the memory of the victims of the nazi camps, we urge all Europeans to resist hate speech, nationalist, racist, xenophobic, antisemitic ideologies, as well as the illusion maintained by demagogical politicians according to which their prosperity and their happiness would be founded upon the rejection of the Other because of her/his ethnic origin, beliefs or political convictions.

We appeal to them to bear in mind the hard-won lessons of the history of the last century and to keep alive the values of peace, dialogue, solidarity, respect for the rights and the dignity of the human person, which have been willed to us by the men and women who have survived the national socialist hell.

“Time for Outrage!” urged nazi concentration camp survivor, diplomat, and great humanist Stéphane Hessel, who with René Cassin was among the authors of the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Let us be outraged, and let us remember, so that we may better act and react together.”


First signatories:

  • Comité International de Mauthausen: www.cim-info.org
  • Mauthausen Komitee Österreich: www.mkoe.at
  • Bewusstseinsregion Mauthausen – Gusen – Langenstein: www.bewusstseinsregion.at
  • Associazione Nazionale Ex Deportati Nei Campi nazisti (ANED): www.deportati.it
  • Comité International Buchenwald-Dora et kommandos: buchenwald-dora.fr
  • Comité International de Dachau
  • International Federation of Resistance Fighters: fir.at
  • Comité International de Natzweiler-Struthof, C.I.N.
  • Amicale Internationale KZ Neuengamme
  • Internationales Ravensbrück Komitee, IRK
  • Internationales Auschwitz Komitee, IAK

For further Information

Christoph Heubner

Executive Vice President
International Auschwitz Committee
Phone ++ 49 (0)30 26 39 26 81