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Youth: Holocaust survivors appeal: Go to the European elections

Youth: Holocaust survivors appeal: Go to the European elections

“Never again is now,” is written on a letter from elderly survivors of Nazi persecution. They are reminded of the time when the Nazis seized power in 1933.

Before the European elections, eight elderly Holocaust survivors appealed to young people in an open letter to use their voices for democracy. “For millions of you, the European elections are the first election of your life – for many of us, it could be the last,” says the letter published in Berlin on Tuesday. “Give democracy a chance. Go vote. Let us show together that ‘Never again’ is not just a phrase, but a promise. A promise that is valid today. And tomorrow. And forever.”

The signatories include 102-year-old Georg Stefan Troller, the almost equally old contemporary witnesses Leon Weintraub, Walter Frankenstein, Eva Szepesi, Ruth Winkelmann and Margit Korge, as well as Renate Aris (88) and Eva Umlauf (81), who survived Nazi persecution as children. The open letter is entitled: “Never again is now”.

Weintraub, 98, explained: “Four out of five of my closest relatives, my siblings, my parents, my cousins, have been murdered. That is the result, the consequence of the attitude ‘we are better than others’. And the consequences of these radical thoughts, the looking down on others, the xenophobia. This unfortunately means that history could repeat itself. And it must not.”

Frankenstein stressed that he had experience of 1932 and 1933. “And I know that there was a similar development then as there is today: a weak democratic government and a party that gathered together the people who were dissatisfied,” explained the 99-year-old. Today, this can be prevented. “That is why young people today must not say ‘Yes, I don’t know who to vote for, so I’d rather not vote at all’. That is the worst thing you can do. Our democracy must be defended again and again.”

The open letter was published on Tuesday by the organisation Avaaz and can be signed. The European elections in Germany are next Sunday.

Source: Stern

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