We must continue to learn important lessons from the Holocaust

On the occassion of January 27 – the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) once again pays tribute to the victims of fascism and all collaborationist regimes and reminds of the importance of resistance against fascism both then and now. CCE also call to mind  of the importance of the constant support to the persecuted people.

Unfortunately, destructive fascist ideas have not disappeared, they still exist in various forms even today.  This should be a serious warning to all political actors in the world, but also in Montenegro, to actively participate in the fight against intolerance, discrimination, extremism, radicalism, and all other forms of hatred in order to contribute to the creation of a genuine democratic society that lives in line with the culture of human rights.

CCE reminds that even in Montenegro we must constantly work more dedicatedly to build a society freed from any form of hatred directed either towards individual or group differences. There is a concerning trend of increasing hate speech and the continuation of the relativization of crimes committed during the Second World War.  It is a consequence of an inadequate dealing with the war related past, both at the institutional and legislative level, and of ignoring these issues within the educational system or their superficial processing.

CCE belives that today there is an outstanding need to learn lessons from the past, primarily through educational institutions where, in addition to factual knowledge, the social narratives shaping  consciousness and awareness are also transmitted.

This is supported by the fact that, unfortunately, today we are witnessing new persecutions on the European soil. Some Holocaust survivors are passing through a new persecution today trying to escape the Russian invasion launched in Ukraine.

The CCE uses the opportunity to once again appeal on the Ministry of Education to approach with more attention the studying of the Holocaust.  We also underscore that the state of Montenegro has an obligation to collect the data of all our victims who perished in the Holocaust in camps throughout the Europe, as well as to promote the role of Montenegrin society and individuals in preventing the execution of the Holocaust in Montenegro during the Second World War.

In 2005, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution on commemorating the International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27). On that day , 76 years ago, the Soviet Red Army liberated the largest concentration camp of the Nazi Germany, Auschwitz-Birkenau. During its five years of existence, 1,100,000 people, mostly Jews, were killed in it.  The Holocaust represents the systematic destruction of European Jews during the Second World War, in which about 6 million Jews were killed. The resolution calls on all UN members to respect the remebrance of the Holocaust victims and encourages the development of educational programs on the history of the Holocaust to show determination to help prevent these crimes from reoccuring in the future.

Tamara Milaš, Human Rights programme coordinator