Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares warned yesterday during the Malmö Forum against anti-Semitism that “freedoms are won day by day” and recalled the slogan of the Spaniards in the Buchenwald and Mauthausen concentration camps: “Remember so as not to repeat.”
“Those who have been born within a regime of freedoms think that these have a habitual character and that all this immunizes us against any danger of unreason,” said the minister during his speech at the International Forum for Holocaust Remembrance and the fight against anti-Semitism, held in the Swedish town of Malmö and attended by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.
“It is a mistake: our rights, our freedoms, are won day by day and we have to do our best to understand the lessons of history,” he continued. “To remember is also to prevent and, therefore, Spain reiterates its commitment to the values that inspired the Stockholm Declaration of 2000,” she added. “Like those Spaniards who swore in Mauthausen and Buchenwald, ‘to remember so as not to repeat’, that is what we continue to do, that is a just cause and that will be our victory,” he concluded.
Albares was yesterday the only representative of Spain at the opening of this meeting, which was convened by the members of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an initiative launched more than twenty years ago by the Swedish Government to perpetuate the memory of the Holocaust and to fulfill the commitments of the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust (the so-called Stockholm Declaration). Spain is one of the 34 member states of this intergovernmental organization, which also includes Israel, Germany, Argentina, Canada and the United States.
The forum was convened by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in early 2020 and was scheduled for the end of last year, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and the 20th anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration, but the pandemic forced its postponement.
Apart from his participation in the Malmö Forum, Albares was received by his counterpart, Ann Linde, with whom he had “a long talk about the work in the OSCE, future cooperation with the Equality Generation and our upcoming EU presidencies,” as the head of Swedish diplomacy stated on her Twitter account.
The Minister’s presence coincided with a moment of intensified contacts between Sweden and Spain, the two countries that will hold the rotating presidency of the EU throughout 2023, the Nordic country in the first half of the year and our country in the second. In addition, the King and Queen of Spain are scheduled to pay a state visit to Sweden at the end of November. The dates have not been officially announced by either of the two Royal Houses, but the 24th and 25th are being considered, according to reliable sources told The Diplomat.