75 years ago, on January 27, 1945, the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was liberated by the Red army. As a symbol, the Paris Shoah Memorial chose to inaugurate the renovated Wall of Names. An official ceremony took place in the presence of the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron. Crif President Francis Kalifat was among the distinguished guests.
Among the ceremonies commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the Wall of Names at the Shoah Memorial in Paris. Upon his arrival, the President of the Republic discovered the newly renovated Wall of Names.
This remembrance Wall, inaugurated for the first time in January 2005 by Jacques Chirac and Simone Veil, is composed of a set of three Jerusalem stone walls on which are engraved the names and dates of birth of nearly 76,000 Jews deported from France.
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy, Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner, Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, as well as many local elected representatives were present. Crif President Francis Kalifat also attended the ceremony.
Many survivors including Ginette Kolinka, Yvette Levy, Elie Buzyn, Esther Senot and Francine Christophe were of course attending as well.
The ceremony started with a speech delivered by the Paris Shoah Memorial President.
It then continued with the screening of a short film of testimonies produced by the Memorial. In this very moving film, some survivors including Victor Perahia, Yvette Levy, Elie Buzyn, Francine Christophe, talked with their own words the current need to remember and never forget.
Finally, President Emmanuel Macron adressed a very emotional speech. He said he was very honored to be among those survivors on this symbolic day of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, where more than a million Jews died, while others were still carried away in death marches.
Among the 6 million Jews who died during the Holocaust, “75,568 Jews were French. 75,568 names, 75,568 indictments, 75,568 remembrance orders are forever etched in stone." did he declare.
This Wall is essential, because those "who have been deprived of names by giving them a number, find an identity", a tombstone and an eternity. "This is why this inauguration is so vital," he added. Correcting the dates of birth, adding the names of those who were not there yet was something essential.
However, 75 years after the Holocaust, antisemitism is still a running issue. "Even today in France, because they are Jewish, women, men and children are insulted, despised, beaten, sometimes killed. [...] This antisemitism which comes back is not the problem of the Jews, it is our problem for all. This is the problem of the French Republic. "
The President of the Republic therefore insisted on the importance of transmitting the remembrance of the Holocaust, especially through education.
The ceremony ended with a minute of silence.