Within the framework of the Greek Presidency of the IHRA and under the auspices of the Permanent Representation of Greece to the United Nations and the Consulate General of Greece in Geneva, the Jewish Community of Geneva, the Friends of Yad Vashem in Switzerland and the World Jewish Congress, organized a commemoration event on 9th November 2021, 83 years after the Kristallnacht.
The ceremony, which took place at the Hekhal Haness Synagogue in Geneva, was dedicated to those who tried to alert the international community for the growing Nazi threat in the 1930s, among them Štefan Lux, the Czechoslovakian journalist who committed suicide in the General Assembly of the League of Nations during its session on 3d July – 1936, in order to alert the world leaders of the rising dangers of antisemitism.
The commemoration for the Kristallnacht took place while the IHRA Thessaloniki Plenary was evolving virtually, due to the pandemic.
The co-organizers of the event in Geneva also included the Permanent Representations of Germany, Israel and Switzerland to the United Nations, the Consulate General of Brazil and the “Casa Stefan Zweig” organization.
Addressing the event, the Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations, H.E. Ambassador Panayotis Stournaras, assured that Greece, along with the entire international community, will never forget the pogrom unleashed by the Nazis against the German Jews on the night of 19th November 1938, which he characterized as an organized act of extreme barbarism. He further underlined that Kristallnacht’s trauma is not the only wound in the collective Jewish memory, since over the centuries, Jewish communities around the world have been persecuted countless times. Ambassador Stournaras also stressed the fact that during the Greek Presidency of the IHRA 2021-22, Greece aims to educate the new generation as well as the entire society about what the Holocaust means, so that it will never happen again.
The event was attended by several Ambassadors and diplomats from about 20 countries, as well as the Consul General of Greece in Geneva, Alexandros Yennimatas, and other members of the Greek Diplomatic mission to the United Nations.