Strasbourg, 18 April 2013 - On 19 April Poland will mark the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising with the opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw and a commemoration ceremony. The ceremony will be attended by the last hero of the Uprising. Paying tribute to those who resisted Nazi oppression in Poland the Secretary General Jagland made this statement:
"During the Uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, thousands of women, men and children refused to capitulate to overwhelming Nazi oppression.They chose to resist and fight for their rights.
Today, I would like to pay homage to those European heroes of the Uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto. I want to salute their sacrifice, their courage, their defiance. Their message is still strong and clear: No one should be deprived of their basic human rights. People have the right to defend their right to life and to express their beliefs.
The Council of Europe was born of the unanimous desire across the Continent to safeguard these fundamental rights. Since 1949 – just six years after the Uprising – we have worked to prevent anti-Semitism and racism from becoming a dominant force in Europe again. But new outbreaks of xenophobia and hate-speech – especially in times of crisis – show that our action is required more than ever.
The memory of those who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto should remain an inspiration to us all to face the challenge.