Share article:
Share article:

Hundreds attend Anderlecht ceremony in memory of Holocaust

On the occasion of the international day of remembrance for the Holocaust, several hundred people attended a commemoration ceremony in Anderlecht. The ceremony commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising and the blocking of the 20th convoy of Jews deported from the Dossin Barracks (Mechelen) in Auschwitz. The ceremony took place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday on Anderlecht’s Square des Martyrs juifs. The ceremony ended the uninterrupted reading of names of the 24,036 Belgian deported Jews that were murdered and the 245 Jews killed in the resistance, a reading which started on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Many ambassadors and political representatives were in attendance, including Pensions Minister Daniel Bacquelaine, the Minister of the Middle Classes Willy Borsus, Wallonia-Brussels Minister Isabelle Simonis, Secretary of State for the Region Bianca Debaets, the Vice President of the House of Representatives Françoise Schepmans, Senator Jacques Brotchi…

Town representatives opened the ceremony with a speech about the importance of living together. The President of The UEJB (Union of Jewish Students in Belgium), Jonathan De Lathouwer, spoke about the dangers of the rejection of Israel’s policy leading to people being stigmatised  for their religious affiliation.

Paul Sobol, deported to Auschwitz as a youth, talked of how he lost every member of his family bar his little sister, and of his experience of the prisoner “death marches” at the end of the war. After a 40-year silence about this part of his life, his return to Auschwitz marks the beginning of his new role as an active witness.

Writer Alain Berenboom read a text entitled “I have a problem with the Holocaust,” in which he explains how his parents were reluctant to talk about the war and his desire as a writer to no longer be a vicitim and to instead contribute to the contemporary debate. He concluded by saying: “I decided to stop ‘having a problem with the Holocaust’. I realised that, like it or not, history cannot be locked up in a closet while we wait for a better tomorrow. If it is, beware whoever opens the closet that day. We’ve seen the results in Rwanda and Cambodia, where humanity tried to deny the existence of a genocide… A Jew, however atheist he or she may be, keeps the history of his people and their persecution alive.”

(Source: Belga)

Latest news

More politicians than ordinary citizens at the Conference on the Future of Europe
The second Plenary of the Conference took place on Saturday in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and discussed the contributions from the ...
Belgium’s Consultative Committee to meet on Tuesday
The next meeting of Belgium's Consultative Committee, scheduled for Friday, has been brought forward to Tuesday at 4:30 PM, according to local media ...
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Unilever are world’s biggest plastic polluters
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Unilever were found to be the world's biggest polluters of plastic in a report published by Branded on Monday. Over 11,000 ...
Four men charged with illegally buying thousands of live ducks to hunt on private land
Four Belgian men will appear in court on Monday facing charges related to the purchase of thousands of ducks, which were then released into a private ...
More wolf attacks: 15 deer killed at family resort over the weekend
Fifteen deer were killed by wolves in the Belgian province of Limburg this weekend, between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The deer were ...
Cost of breast cancer still too high for many patients
Breast cancer still carries too high a cost for patients when one in nine women in Belgium will face the disease before reaching 75, according to a ...
Gare Maritime: Brussels’ most exciting new architectural project
A generation ago, the Gare Maritime in the Tour & Taxis industrial site was an abandoned wasteland. It is now a model for urban renewal and ...
Belgium in Brief: Rules For A Fourth Wave
It's the news that nobody wants to hear, but here we go again. Belgium’s council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss ...
Belgian grandparents to walk across Scotland for COP26
A group of Belgian grandparents has set off on a 100 km hike that will take them from Belgium to the Scottish city of Glasgow, just ahead of the ...
Rise in fuel prices will bring Belgian State €547 million in tax, say Workers Party
The sharp rise in fuel prices that have been felt across the continent will bring an additional €547 million to the Belgian State, the Workers' Party ...
Amid backlash, Brussels police chief promises to do better for sexual assault victims
After multiple rallies against sexual violence took place in Brussels last week, with victims offering testimony of poor treatment from police when ...
Person hit by train in Brussels
A person was hit by a train in the tunnel between Brussels North and Brussels Central at around 10:20 AM on Monday, railway network manager Infrabel ...