Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-01-26-Speech-3-154"

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"An Eldorado of death and suffering, a exultant journey of hatred and a place where evil was wedded to evil. This was how my father described his pain when he visited Auschwitz. His family had died there. When visiting the freshly painted gas chambers, he could see how carefully dressed evil can give rise to hatred and a desire for revenge. Peace is not simply the absence of war. It is a state of justice, freedom, faith and conscience. Following the liberation of Auschwitz, however, peace and democracy did not come to all of the continent of Europe. Totalitarian regimes persisted, although in a different form. The eastern half of Europe lost the capacity for self-determination. We were locked within the boundaries of an empire of evil, which attempted to destroy our religious traditions, our recall of history and the very roots of our culture. Many were imprisoned simply because they invoked the freedom of conscience and religious freedom. My father was one of them. What does Auschwitz tell us today? That the willingness to forgive is a personal and free attitude which does not need repeating. No international treaty can heal the sadness. Without forgiveness, there can be no reconciliation. States cannot be reconciled unless their citizens forgive one another. In this respect, propaganda comes to mind, because propaganda is used by all totalitarian regimes. It is used to defend the politics of the elite and to prohibit alternative views under threat of death. It is no accident that enlightened European statesmen have wished to create a bond of unity among the different countries. This was the result of their own freedom of conscience and religious conviction. They understood that the good of humanity prevails over the good of each nation. These statesmen did not confuse national, cultural and legal heritage with the surrender of political sovereignty. Today’s Europe is still seeking its own future and meaning. We are still waiting for our peace, justice, freedom of faith, conscience and thought. Auschwitz is part of the European Union. Auschwitz and Strasbourg are definitively linked and will always remind us of the failures in our history. Thank you."@en1

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