WESTERN BALKANS – This year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the ending of the Second World War, and the ending of the Holocaust. More precisely, today marks the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. On this occasion, RYCO recalls the significant importance of remembrance and dealing with the past topics.
We believe that building true and enduring reconciliation involves a process that brings together individuals, groups and societies burdened by past or present conflicts and negative representations and perceptions of ‘the other’. Through this shared experience, cooperation and ongoing exchange, new pathways can be built to reconcile people who would otherwise remain trapped in the past.
Moreover, education plays an important role, too. Only through continuous collective education efforts against anti-Semitism and other forms of bias we can ensure respect for human rights. This fact is especially important in societies burdened with the past.
Having in mind that prejudice and stereotyping are still shaping attitudes and behavior in the Western Balkans, RYCO recalls that fight against prejudices requires joint comprehensive efforts of governments, education institutions, media, and civil society in achieving stable, peaceful and prosperous societies.