Council of Europe (CoE)
Press release on the opening of the exhibition “Holocaust: Destruction, Liberation, Salvation” in the headquarters of the Council of Europe
The opening ceremony of the exhibition “Holocaust: Destruction, Liberation, Salvation” took place at the headquarters of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (France). It was organised by the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation at the Council of Europe. The event was attended by Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic, and representatives of the member countries of the Council of Europe.
In his speech, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe Ivan Soltanovsky urged the Council of Europe not to ignore ethnic discrimination that has become commonplace in some EU countries and give a principled assessment to this phenomenon. He emphasised that the Council of Europe can overcome its current crisis by returning to its fundamental principles -- protecting the rights of all Europeans without exception, building a common European legal space, and ensuring the equality of all member countries.
In his message of greetings, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland noted the enormous price paid by the Soviet Union in the struggle against Nazism. Soviet prisoners of war were among the first victims of gas chambers in Auschwitz.
Preservation of historical memory and resistance to the attempts to falsify history are one of the major areas of Russia’s cooperation with the Council of Europe. We regularly draw the attention of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and relevant bodies to the continued attempts to whitewash Nazis and their accomplices in Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine, and to the course of the Polish authorities towards erasing the memory of Poland’s liberation by the Red Army.
The annual seminar “Memory and Lessons of World War II” has been conducted for representatives of the Council of Europe member countries as part of the programme of Russia-Council of Europe cooperation in youth policy since 2014. The seminar is aimed at preserving the historical memory of the events of World War II in their traditional interpretation, disseminating information about the crimes of Nazism and its victims as well as preventing the distortion of historical truth about the events of that time.