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Press Review


Auschwitz survivors call on EU goverments to do more to help refugees





Source: The Telegraph

Former prisoners at Nazi extermination camp compare plight of today’s refugees to own suffering

By Justin Huggler, Berlin

Auschwitz survivors have called on European goverments to do more to help the refugees streaming into the continent.

In an open letter to EU leaders ahead of Wednesday’s summit on the refugee crisis, former prisoners at the Nazi extermination camp compared the plight of today’s refugees to their own suffering.

“We, Auschwitz survivors from Poland, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic and France, in the depths of despair and on the verge of death in Auschwitz, waited for Europe and hoped for Europe,” the letter reads.

“Today, Europe is once again facing a fundamental challenge. People are looking to us for protection, assistance and a future for themselves and their families. They risk their lives to reach Europe. All this reminds us of our former despair.”

The letter is signed by the International Auschwitz Committee, an organisation which represents hundreds of survivors of the concentration camp.

“Today, we see in Europe people full of helpfulness for the current challenge, but also people full of fear and people full of hate,” it reads.

“We see the borders aggressively rammed with fences, distorted faces, burning houses and naked selfishness. Undignified pictures which point to Europe’s bitter past and reveal nothing but weakness and impotence.”

Hungary has erected a razor-wire fence along its border with Serbia to keep refugees out, while there have been a series of arson attacks on refugee shelters in Germany.

The letter calls on EU leaders to make a stand against “populist and far-Right forces in Europe”.

“Europe must be a model of democracy, a model of human rights,” it reads, quoting Simone Veil, a former president of the European parliament and herself an Auschwitz survivor.

Although the letter does not name any individual governments, it speaks of Auschwitz survivors from Hungary and the Czech Republic, two of the four countries which voted against a new EU scheme to share refugees by quota.

More than 1 million people were systematically murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz, the overwhelming majority of them Jewish.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11885469/Auschwitz-survivors-call-on-EU-goverments-to-do-more-to-help-refugees.html