World leaders gather for Holocaust commemoration, 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz

Putin (L) is welcomed to Jerusalem by PM Netanyahu.

World leaders gathered in Jerusalem Thursday to take part in Israel’s largest-ever diplomatic meeting to commemorate the Holocaust and battle anti-Semitism, 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were among the leaders set to attend the World Holocaust Forum at the city's Yad Vesham Holocaust remembrance center.

The gathering marks three quarters of a century since the liberation of the Nazis’ most notorious death camp, Auschwitz, where more than a million people were killed — the vast majority of them Jews. In total, 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

The event's organizers said it sought to build a united front against “anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia” and to battle the spike in anti-Semitic violence evident especially in Europe but also around the world.

Approximately one in four Europeans harbor pernicious and pervasive attitudes toward Jews, according to global survey on anti-Semitism by the U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League in November last year.

The survey found that anti-Semitic attitudes had increased in eastern and central European nations and a significant number of people in European countries think Jews talk too much about the Holocaust.

“Today we recall the victims of the Holocaust,” said Putin in a face-to-face meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

 

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