Statement by First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner Věra Jourová on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the ‘Kristallnacht’ (Night of Broken Glass):
“80 years ago the lives and history of Jews in Europe changed forever in the space of one night. The state-sponsored Antisemitism of the Nazi regime triggered the murder of Jews, the burning of synagogues, and the looting of Jewish-owned businesses and Jewish houses. Around thirty thousand Jewish people were deported during the ‘Kristallnacht’, an event which marked the beginning of the Holocaust and the extermination of six million Jews. Today we must pause and reflect on these events, and to remind ourselves of why we must do everything in our power to prevent this from ever happening again. (…) Jewish people should never again have to ask themselves whether they or their children have a future in the European Union. They should never have to question whether the authorities will stand on their side to guarantee their safety. Nobody should ever be afraid to go to a synagogue or wear a kippah in the European Union. Today, as every day, the European Commission stands firm against all forms of Antisemitism. We will continue to relentlessly fight prejudice and stereotypes in Europe, whomever it regards, and we will always defend people’s right to practise their religion – whichever it is – freely and without fear.” The full statement is available online.