“We share a commitment to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and to honour those who stood against it.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
On 15 August 2012, a commemorative ceremony was held in Antwerp City Hall to mark the date of the first deportations of Jewish citizens in 1942.
Exactly 70 years ago, on the night of 15 to 16 August 1942, the first razzia to round up Jewish citizens for deportation took place in the city of Antwerp. Research has shown that the Nazi occupying forces were actively supported by the city authorities and the majority of the police forces. In 2007, the Mayor of Antwerp publicly acknowledged the role of the public authorities at that time and expressed his apologies to the Jewish population.
At the commemoration ceremony on 15 August, Mayor Patrick Janssens presented the text of a plaque that will be put on the spot where the political decision for the roundup and deportation was taken.
It was also announced that a monument with the names of all those who were deported will be erected.
On this occasion the Chair of the Jewish Central Consistory of Belgium, Professor Dr. Julien Baron Klener, delivered a speech, the text of which can be found here.