Press Advisories

30. 6. 2009 9:14

Prime Minister: Freedom and Justice are Essential Values for Every Human Being

Speaking at the end of the international Holocaust Era Assets Conference, Jan Fischer mentioned the historical bequest of Shoa, justice, freedom, and coming to terms with the legacy of the past.

He pointed out the threat of growing extremism and warned of the danger that extremism may return.

"Freedom and justice are the most important values for every human being. These words are especially compelling here in Terezín, where tens of thousands of people have been deprived of freedom, and the vast majority of them subsequently lost their lives. They have become a part of the six million of Jewish victims of Nazi hatred," said Prime Minister Fischer.

According to the prime minister, we must accept our portion of responsibility because compensation and satisfaction for families that underwent the terrors of the Holocaust have not been adequately provided. Some blame also falls on the 40-year long period of communist rule, which stopped the process of reinstating justice and compensating victims. Consequently, Jan Fischer expressed satisfaction that the Terezín Declaration has been adopted thanks to the conference, which strives to rectify wrongdoings from the past.

"The world is still not entirely just. However, lack of justice does begin with the rulers. It is only a consequence. It begins in the mind of each one of us. It begins with our envy, prejudice, and unending division of people based on nationality, wealth, or religion. The purpose of this conference and the adopted Terezín Declaration is to prove that none of these human weaknesses will prevent us from instating justice," added the prime minister.

Held during 26-30 June 2009, the aim of the Holocaust Era Assets Conference was to promote the diffusion of information on this dark chapter of European history. The conference included adopting the Terezín Declaration, which calls for social support and assistance for Holocaust victims. Based on the declaration, the Shoa Legacy Institute will be opened in Terezín.

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