Paterson: Auschwitz means ‘never again’

19 Feb Paterson: Auschwitz means ‘never again’

AJN Staff – Australian Jewish News – Wednesday 19 February 2020

In a Senate speech commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Victorian Liberal Senator James Paterson recounted the “Nazi ideology was the normalisation of antisemitism” which led to the depravity of the Holocaust.

“It was extermination. It was genocide. It was the denial of one group’s right to exist and an attempt to erase them from the world.

“We have vowed never again, and we’ve also vowed never forget. Given recent evidence, I sometimes fear that these phrases are hollow echoes. ‘The recent memorial hosted at Auschwitz-Birkenau museum was a sober reminder that our living memory of these events wanes each day,” he stated in the Senate on February 11.

“At the same memorial 15 years ago, some 1500 survivors were in attendance; last week, only 200 remained. As out eye witnesses dwindle, we must remain collectively vigilant to the tide of re-emerging antisemitism. Across Europe, almost 90 per cent of Jews believe that antisemitism has intensified in their country over the past five years.”

Paterson said Jeremy Corbyn’s Labor Party in the UK “last year received 673 complaints of antisemitic behaviour” and “closer to home we are also witnessing the re-emergence of a violent form of antisemitism”.

“Through the Safer Communities Fund, the government has delivered more than $4 million to Jewish organisations in Macnamara to safeguard their personal safety and security. Synagogues, meeting centres and Jewish schools require security guards, fencing, CCTV, boom gates and lighting”, he noted.

“I’m proud to be part of a government that is firmly committed to protecting the religious freedom of our Jewish community,” Paterson said.

On February 5 and 10 respectively, various senators from the Liberal party, ALP and Central Alliance moved two motions commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

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