Auschwitz anniversary: A people transformed

Auschwitz anniversary: A people transformed
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks during the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem this week. Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP

National and religious leaders came together this week to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. Auschwitz was one, probably the most infamous, of Nazi Germany’s death factories where millions of people, including 6m Jewish people, were murdered.

German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, speaking at Israel’s national Holocaust Memorial said that he bowed his head in “deepest sorrow [for] the worst crime in the history of humanity”, committed by his countrymen.

“I wish I could say that we Germans have learnt from history once and for all. But I cannot say that when hatred is spreading,” he said, referring to resurgent antisemitism across Europe.

Germany has confronted its past in an exemplary and redemptive way. That process must have been, and still must be, painful especially as it required embracing horrible truths about itself and its past.

That process is not faultless or by any means exclusive but by confronting its history Germany has become a reliable light in what can be a dark world. There must be a lesson for all of us in that transformation.

More on this topic

A sad juxtaposition of events: Parties need to be specific on BrexitA sad juxtaposition of events: Parties need to be specific on Brexit

Mark Leonard: Holocaust not an excuse to promote nationalist agendasMark Leonard: Holocaust not an excuse to promote nationalist agendas

Ana Palacio: The resurgence of anti-Semitism is rampant and chillingAna Palacio: The resurgence of anti-Semitism is rampant and chilling

Justice official criticises Iran for Holocaust conference

More in this Section

The Irish Examiner View: Not alarming - Irish cases of coronavirusThe Irish Examiner View: Not alarming - Irish cases of coronavirus

The Irish Examiner View: Big Brother is stalking youThe Irish Examiner View: Big Brother is stalking you

Cianan Brennan: Dixon determined to face all challengesCianan Brennan: Dixon determined to face all challenges

Victoria White: ‘Love Island’ is about exposing the nakedly vulnerable to mass ridiculeVictoria White: ‘Love Island’ is about exposing the nakedly vulnerable to mass ridicule


Lifestyle

Bonnie Ryan couldn’t be happier.On a roll: Why Bonnie Ryan couldn't be happier

Laura Harding goes on location to see where the new adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma was shotBehind the Scenes: Getting the inside story on the movie Emma

More From The Irish Examiner