Secretary General Hannah Lessing in Madrid on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today, 27 January 2009, is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp. The Secretary General of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism and the General Settlement Fund, Mag. Hannah Lessing, was one of the main speakers at a commemoration ceremony to mark this occasion in the autonomous region of Madrid. The audience included representatives of the Jewish Community, Spanish officials and representatives of the diplomatic corps.

In her speech Hannah Lessing stressed the importance of teaching the Holocaust to the younger generation, citing it as the main challenge for the future. Lessing used her visit to the Spanish capital to participate in meetings at the Foreign Ministry and the Jewish Community.

The Austrian ambassador, Dr. Ulrike Tilly, hosted a dinner at her residence in honor of Secretary General Lessing, which was attended by leading figures from the Jewish Community, the President of the Madrid Council and the UN Assistant Secretary General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, the Austrian Thomas Stelzer.

The UN declared 27 January International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2005. In Austria, 5 May (the liberation of Mauthausen) is the Day of Remembrance against Violence and Racism in Memory of the Victims of National Socialism.