Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (N-VA) on Tuesday visited Nazi Germany’s biggest concentration and extermination camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of its liberation.
“I have no words for that,” he told Belga news agency in a comment on the atrocities committed there. “There was a deliberate attempt to destroy an entire people in an almost industrial manner,” he added, “a terrible impression of what fanaticism and racism can lead to.”
Auschwitz, where 1.1 million people were killed during World War II, most of them Jewish, was liberated on 27 January 1945 by the Soviet Army. This date was selected in 2005 as that of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Jambon’s visit was one of many events being held this year in commemoration of the 75th anniversary.
According to the Flemish Prime Minister, it is important to “permanently remember” the horror of the Holocaust, “also because you are seeing now that anti-Semitism is again making its appearance in Europe.”
At a dinner given on Monday by the European Jewish Association in Krakow, Jambon described the assistance given by Belgian and Flemish authorities during the World War II deportations as a blot on Belgium’s history.