European Parliament to officially commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day

The European Parliament is to hold an official ceremony for International Holocaust Remembrance Day for the first time.

In a letter sent to Rabbi Avi Tawil, President of the European Jewish Community Centre (EJCC), the European Parliament President Martin Schulz officially adopted the remembrance day as part of its ceremonies, the EJCC has said.

The day has been unofficially commemorated in the European Parliament by the EJCC for the past seven years.

In the letter, Mr Schulz acknowledged the EJCC’s contributions to the commemoration of the day and promised that the parliament was committed to perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust and the promotion of democracy and human rights.

The move comes after years of campaigning by the EJCC for an official event. Rabbi Tawil said: "The commemoration of the Holocaust and its lessons is essential not only for the Jewish community but for all people in Europe and the entire world. Unfortunately, we are witnessing an alarming rise in popularity of hate groups across Europe as a consequence of the financial crisis."

In 2012, Mr Schulz spoke in commemoration of the Holocaust on January 20, on the 70th anniversary of the Wansee Conference in which the ‘final solution’ was implemented. International Holocaust Remembrance Day is on January 27, commemorating the day in1945 when Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated.

Last updated: 4:07pm, January 14 2013