In the City Council of Tarragona, Spain, the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace (GEAP) held an event for the International Day of Remembrance in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust (January 27) and Prevention of Crimes against Humanity.
The event was attended by government officials, councilors, members of the Jewish and Gypsy collective, and associations of relatives of Republican prisoners who died in concentration camps.
For the GEAP, it is an obligation to remember the past, raising the awareness in present generations on the factors that triggered different genocides and the circumstances that caused them, as well as the consequences and repercussions they left on humanity.
The coordinator of the GEAP in Spain, Gustavo Rivera, at the opening of the event commented that the theme established by the United Nations Assembly for this year 2017 is: "Holocaust Remembrance: educating for a better future."
"At the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, we believe that if the Holocaust left so many lessons and transformations in human rights, it is a duty to teach it in schools, colleges and as a cross-cutting issue in universities in all countries," said Rivera.
Francesc Roca, councilman of education and occupation, in his dissertation emphasized on the importance of an education based on principles and values to form good citizens.
"Education is the fundamental pillar for societies to develop and progress. All of us are clear that education is not only what is given in school, since we educate at home, educate as a society and educate as a city," said Roca.
Roca ended his participation with a phrase of Anna Frank and related it with education and barbarism that can be avoided; mentioned: "Free people will never be able to conceive what the books mean for those who live locked up."
Characters and Survivors
The spokesman of the municipal group and professor of International Law, Ruben Viñuales, in his speech spoke of Heinrich Himmler, known as the second most powerful man in Germany during World War II. Leader of the Reich of the fearsome SS of the Nazi Party, presided over a vast ideological and bureaucratic empire.
Meanwhile, the representative of Friends of Mauthausen (Association of Republican Prisoners who were in the concentration camps) stressed that this institution was founded by survivors, who returned convinced that to avoid another Holocaust the antidote is memory.
"Today in the company of all of you and especially of the other victims' associations, we declare that we will continue to work tirelessly, in the commitment that the survivors assumed after liberation: NEVER AGAIN, neither here nor anywhere else in the world."
For the victims of the Holocaust
During the act the candles were lit in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. This event was attended by government officials and special guests.
The 1st candle, in memory of the victims; was lit by Josep Burgasé, vice - president of the Association of Cultural Relations Catalonia - Israel.
The 2nd candle, in memory of the million and a half Jewish children killed in the gas chambers of AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU; was lit by the girl Stefanía Rivera, student of the Institute San Pedro and San Pablo.
The 3rd candle, in memory of the gypsy people and other groups persecuted by the Nazis; was lit by Francesc Ferreres, president of the Association of Gypsies of Tarragona.
The 4th candle, lit in memory of prisoners and Spanish victims, murdered in concentration camps; was lit by Adelina Figueras, daughter of José Figueras, deported from Mauthausen.
The 5th candle, by the Righteous of the Nations, who risked their lives and saved the persecuted; ignited by Juan Axpuaca, local coordinator of the EMAP in Madrid.
The 6th candle, for the survivors, who with their testimonies leave a teaching to avoid the reiteration of the Holocaust; lit by Francesc Roca, councilor of Education of Tarragona.
Through the Educating to Remember Program, the GEAP points out that genocide is an international crime that must be recognized by all States, Governments and countries, in order to ensure the future of peoples, based on justice, truth, harmony and equity.