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President Pahor at the main ceremony of the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem

Jeruzalem, 23. 1. 2020 | press release

President Pahor met a number of world leaders before the opening of the World Holocaust Forum. Among those he spoke with were Alexander Van der Bellen, president of Austria, János Áder, president of Hungary, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, president of Portugal, and Zuzana Čaputová, president of Slovakia. During brief conversations he passed on his congratulations to Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel and David Sassoli, the newly elected presidents of the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament respectively.

President Pahor attended the fifth World Holocaust Forum in the afternoon. The main ceremony was held on Warsaw Ghetto Square in Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, and was attended by 45 world leaders.

During his visit to Jerusalem, President Pahor met a number of Israeli figures, including Miriam Steiner Aviezer, one of the righteous among nations, who works at the Yad Vashem museum, whom he had also met yesterday, and reiterated his views of the annulment of the conviction of General Leon Rupnik, which he had made public in Slovenia last week. He repeated that he never comments on individual decisions by the institutions of the rule of law, as this cannot be permitted from the perspective of the independence of the judiciary, but it is nevertheless important to express his belief that for the generations that follow, General Rupnik’s oath to Hitler, his collaboration with the occupiers, and his raging anti-Semitism will be seen by history as contemptible.

The speakers at today’s main ceremony were Reuven Rivlin, president of Israel, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, Emmanuel Macron, president of France, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, president of Germany, British representative Prince Charles, and Mike Pence, vice-president of the USA.

The remembrance ceremony closed with the lighting of a menorah by Holocaust survivor Rose Moskowitz from the USA, and Colette Avital, head of the Centre of Organisations of Holocaust Survivors. This was followed by a ceremonial wreath-laying at the monument to the Warsaw Uprising, in which the dignitaries were invited to lay wreaths, among them President Pahor.

President Pahor at the main ceremony of the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem
Photo: Xinhua/STA

President Pahor at the main ceremony of the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem
Photo: Xinhua/STA