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Solidarity with Liliana Segre: VW trainees hold a vigil in front of the Italian Embassy against anti-Semitic hatred

Vigil at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin-Mitte. © Bernd Oertwig

Vigil at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin-Mitte. © Bernd Oertwig




Today, the International Auschwitz Committee joined with trainees from the VW plants in Emden, Osnabrück, Wolfsburg and Bielsko-Biala, Poland, for vigils in front of the Italian Embassy in Berlin-Tiergarten, as well as at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The vigils are taking place against the background of current anti-Semitic threats in Italy to the 89-year-old Italian-Jewish survivor of Auschwitz and Senator Liliana Serge. The vigils also marked the introduction of the anti-Jewish laws in 1938 in Italy. They were also dedicated to the victims of the anti-Jewish pogrom night of 8 and 9 November 1938 when the National Socialists targeted Jewish institutions of different kinds in Germany.

At the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe the Prime Minister of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, spoke with Christoph Heubner, Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee and the young trainees.

Auschwitz survivors throughout the world are filled with outrage, sadness and empathy by the upsurge of anti-Semitic hatred that is being directed against their 89-year-old Italian fellow sufferer on a daily basis. As a result of this situation, Liliana Segre is now receiving police protection.

Christoph Heubner stressed: “Liliana Segre was 14 years old when she was deported to Auschwitz. It is utterly scandalous that an 89-year-old Auschwitz survivor needs police protection from the anti-Semitic hatred with which she is being threatened on a daily basis. But the situation is not only scandalous for Italy; it applies to the whole of Europe. In Italy Matteo Salvini is primarily responsible for poisoning the climate in society and making hatred part of an everyday toxic atmosphere. This increase in hatred is not restricted to Italy alone. Salvini has likeminded friends everywhere in Europe, and everywhere in Europe Holocaust survivors are suffering under the weight of increasing right-wing extremist and anti-Semitic manifestations of hatred. After Auschwitz, the survivors always believed that this kind of development would be impossible.”