NATO Marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day
NATO marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a solemn ceremony at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels on Friday (27 January 2023). Addressing the event, Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană called this year’s act of remembrance “particularly poignant for all of us here in Europe”, coming almost a year after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Calling Russia’s brutal war of aggression the biggest security threat since the Second World War, Mr. Geoană said: “We are seeing horrific scenes that we thought we had banished to the history books… They are a chilling reminder of how fragile freedom is and how we can never take peace and security for granted.” Underscoring the importance of NATO unity in supporting Ukraine and strengthening Allied defences, he said: “By standing up for our values today, we honour all those who struggle for freedom and democracy every day.”
On Thursday, President Isaac Herzog became the first Israeli head of state to address Allies in the North Atlantic Council. Welcoming President Herzog to NATO Headquarters, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg underscored the importance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, saying “we will never forget” the victims of World War II.
Today’s ceremony at NATO Headquarters was hosted by the Italian and Polish delegations. Following a poetry reading on the Holocaust, a visitation stone was unveiled as a symbolic act of remembrance for the bereaved – forming the words “we remember”. The flags of all 30 NATO Allies are at half-mast today.