Thursday, 27 January 2022
13th Sitting of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality
On 27 January 2022, the members of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality held a sitting dedicated to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic then addressed the assembled. "By remembering the great liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Red Army, the whole world symbolically pays tribute to all the victims of the Holocaust, the greatest pogrom of modern times. We celebrate this day to honour all the victims of Nazism and fascism, and reaffirm our commitment and eternal resolve to make sure something like this never happens again", stressed Dacic.
“It is very important that we talk about the Holocaust and its victims every 27 January, because unfortunately, 77 years later, Holocaust victims and those of us who revere their shadows come against challenges, relativization, even open denial of these unparalleled crimes in human history. As a civilization, we have allowed ignorance and evil intentions to spread and rewrite history, to deny the victims of a time when the extermination of entire nations was the mission of sick minds", said Dacic.
The National Assembly Speaker went on to stress that we are all here to reiterate that we are a civilization and to remember with the greatest reverence the victims of Auschwitz and Jasenovac, as well as Kragujevac and Banjica and Sajmiste. Finally, he pointed out that this is our duty, not only on 27 January, but every day and every year, as long as there is a single voice that justifies the greatest crimes ever committed.
The Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue Gordana Comic talked about the Holocaust as an industry of death, whose product was millions of dead during World War II, and the operation of which was considered legal.
"For a long time after World War II, the world did not talk about concentration camps, about the suffering of Jews, Roma and Serbs or others who were persecuted throughout the Reich Europe and killed in the most horrible ways possible", said Comic. She added that, thanks to the activism of the Jewish community and reason, it was possible to thematize and make the Holocaust visible.
The sitting was attended by Ombudsman MA Zoran Pasalic, Commissioner for Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic, President of the Religious Commission of the Jewish Community of Belgrade Mina Pasajlic, President of the Union of War Veterans of the National Liberation Wars Major General Vidosav Kovacevic and the Chairman of the Subcommittee for Roma Affairs Prof. Dr Dragoljub Ackovic.
MA Zoran Pasalic also spoke about the victims of the Holocaust, the six million Jews who died, one million of which were killed in the camps, as well as the suffering of Roma and Serbs. "The purpose of everything we do here is to fight against oblivion, anti-Semitism and every other form of relativization of World War II crimes." The Ombudsman proposed that two institutions should be built and set up in the Republic of Serbia, one being the Museum of Holocaust Victims and the other the House of National Minorities of the Republic of Serbia.
Brankica Jankovic stressed that the Holocaust is one of the most tragic events in history, adding that it should be a warning to all of us and a daily reminder of the catastrophic historical consequences caused by discrimination, intolerance and hatred towards others.
Mina Pasajlic reminded the attending that on this day, 27 January 1945, Red Army units liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest death camp in Poland, which is why, on 1 November 2005 , the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Resolution declaring 27 January International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
She stressed that the past must not be forgotten, that we must not allow crimes like those to happen again, adding that the Jewish community in Serbia has a duty to educate its members, as well as the general public, about the history and consequences of the Holocaust.
Major General Vidosav Kovacevic stressed that the Union of War Veterans of the National Liberation Wars of Serbia has been proudly preserving and nurturing the culture of remembering the liberation and anti-fascist past, as well as the culture of remembering the great sufferings of the Serbian, Roma and Jewish people.
Prof. Dr Dragoljub Ackovic pointed out that today we remember 56 million souls lost in World War II, among them about six million Jews and about 1.5 million Roma.
The publication "Anthology of Samudaripen e Romengo" and "Roma refugees from Kosovo-Metohija at the beginning of the third millennium" were presented, and Brothers Teofilovic performed the song "Gelem, Gelem".
The introductory speeches were followed by a discussion.
The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairman Dr Muamer Bacevac, and was attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Prof. Dr Dragoljub Ackovic, Sandra Jankovic, Vesna Nedovic, Viktor Jevtovic, Stefan Srbljanovic, Dijana Radovic, Nina Pavicevic and Zoltan Pek. MP Smilja Tisma also attended the sitting.