Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

Communications, Communications

President ‘s message to the Parliament of Albania, during the special session to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust

Dear attendees,

Let me bring to your attention the words of the late Noach Flug, a diplomat and prominent advocate for the rights of the Holocaust survivors.

“Memory is like water: it is essential to life and it finds its way to new spaces and different people. Memory is always concrete: it is alive, with faces and places, with space, smells and sounds.” – Flug observed.

Memory helps human beings to separate good from bad, right from wrong, without which societies can never reach a better future.

Today we remember the victims of the Holocaust, a crime against humanity, the pinnacle of social failure, as a result of the pressure, fear, prejudice and extremism, associated  with the war.

January 27 is a day of remembrance, with a double purpose.

On one hand, it is the official commemoration date for the 6 million victims of the Holocaust and on the other hand, it is a moment of reflection and moving forward, leaving behind any form of anti-Semitism or attempts to deny this historical fact.

I am honoured to address you today, as the President of this country that distanced itself from one of the most inhumane acts in history.

Albania has been on the right side of history, because of the choices it made. Not only official choices, in the form of official decisions, but also human values, through its solidarity.

The renowned Albanian “Besa” – pledge of faith – and hospitality is at the origin of this unique and unusual solidarity.

We all know what values inspired this approach, natural to us, strengthening our friendship with Israel:

Albania’s documented support of the Jewish community, legally acknowledging the right of the Hebrews not to work on Shabbat.

The refusal of the Albanian state to submit to the Nazis the list of the Hebrews, sheltered in our country.

The efforts of all Albanians, Muslims and Christians, risking their own lives, to hide, protect and integrate the Hebrews within the Albanian community.

We have undertaken initiatives to commemorate not only the victims of the Holocaust, but also the role of Albania in supporting them and the friendship between Albanians and Hebrews.

Such as: The Jewish Memorial in Tirana and the Solomon Museum in Berat;

The Jewish Museum in Vlora and the reconstruction of the Jewish Street in the same city.

Albania’s role has been recognised by the International Jewish Foundation “Raoul Wallenberg” as “House of life”.

For the first time in the Balkans, our country organized a forum against anti-Semitism, three years ago, which will be held again this October.

The Albanian Parliament has unanimously legitimized the definition of anti-Semitism, as evidence of the support, which did not end with the hospitality demonstrated during those dark years of the Second World War.

Dear friends,

The expression “never again” often used in relation to genocide, has been broken, to this day.

As we strongly condemn anti-Semitism, let’s not forget that regardless of where we come from, regardless of the language we speak or the faith we profess, what unites us is the ability to love, understand and help each other!

Thank you!