In the framework of his official visit to Poland, President Serzh Sargsyan today visited Lyubeletsi region, the former Majdanek concentration camp located near Lyublin, which now serves as the Memorial complex. Accompanied by the ceremonial troops, the President laid a wreath in the mausoleum of the complex and paid tribute to the memory of the tens of thousands victims which were barbarically exterminated by the Nazis in this concentration camp, and made an inscription in the Honorary Guest Book. At the Conference center of the complex, President Serzh Sargsyan made a speech.
Afterwards, the President left for Zamość town, toured the downtown, visited the town museum and on the Armenian Street of Zamość observed buildings constructed by the Armenians, President’s Press Office reported.
President Serzh Sargsyan’s speech at the Memorial complex of the former Majdanek concentration camp
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, at the Majdanek Memorial, we bow our heads to the memory of the tens of thousands of innocent victims, the victims the great majority of whom were denied even graves.
It is difficult to stay composed while visiting Majdanek, or to struggle with raging emotions and thoughts. However the unique nature of Majdanek and other similar places of human sufferings is probably displayed in the fact that these testaments, which first look mute and silent, are screaming all over the world about the distorted human logic which gave birth to fiendish viciousness.
I am confident that everyone who is visiting Majdanek, just like me, is haunted with the question “How?” How can a human being subject another human being to such cruelty, seeing himself as superior vis-a-vis another person and omnipotent vis-a-vis the humanity?
Perhaps, these are simple questions, which have simple answers but I am confident that one of the best ways to prevent such hideous crimes is to direct this question to ourselves. It is an important step not only for glancing back and once again assessing the historical facts; this way it will be possible to find a general formula for preventing and condemning once and for all similar crimes.
From hushing up and denying the reality up to criminal silence and nonchalant connivance – these are the conditions in which the gravest crimes in human history are taking place. Majdanek might have not happened if the first genocide of the 20th century perpetrated against the Armenians had received universal condemnation and had the perpetrators received their due punishment.
It would be remiss of me if I did not recall the words of the one of the greatest sons of the Polish nation, a person utterly devoted to the all-human values and solidarity among the people – John Paul II, “The Armenian Genocide had become a prelude to the horrors which were to take place during the two World Wars, in the concentration camps and countless regional conflicts, claiming millions of lives.”
There is no condemnation without prevention and there is no prevention without condemnation. I believe that fate, which had compelled the survivors of the Genocide and their descendants to go through the crucible of Eghern, had also left a behest to learn from the past and to struggle consistently to enroot the absolute understanding of the inadmissibility of the Genocide and to protect the future generations from the similar monstrosity.
Today, here with me is the son of the one of the multitudes of Majdanek’s Armenian prisoners and victims, the son of Levon Madoyan. He lives in Armenia, in Vanadzor. We wanted him to join our delegation during this visit, because the most living memory is the memory which lives in generations.
In reality, former concentration camps – Majdanek, Osventsim, Treblinka, as well as memorials and museums of Yad Vashem and Tsitsernakaberd, which had become historic places, are not just memorials containing documented historical facts. They also represent a strong and impressive message sent out to the human kind and aimed at the enhancement of tolerance among the nations, condemnation of xenophobia and its prevention. The post-war orphanages, which had become the memorials to shattered childhood, just like those that had been created all over the world after the Armenian Genocide, were also impressive messages. We, as a nation which went through it all, have to do even the impossible to prevent the repetition of such tragedies.
Armenia, which has regained her independence, today is committed to keep in the focus of the international community the necessity of the united efforts of all states for the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide.
In May, 2013 Armenia assumed for the first time the Presidency at the European Council’s Ministerial Committee and has declared among her priorities the fight against propaganda which spreads intolerance, discrimination and xenophobia. That’s the reason that in the framework of my visit to Poland, I wanted to visit this silent and solemn memorial of the diabolic crime.
In the same context, we are planning to conduct in Yerevan an international conference on the fight against the intolerance and discrimination. Armenia will host the 2013 meeting on Religious Dimension of the EC Intercultural Dialogue, which in recent years has become a very reputable forum considering the objectives of that initiative. During her presidency at the Council of Europe, Armenia will also organize No to Hate Words movement, attaching importance to the online march of the youth aimed at the fight against hate speech.
Concluding my remarks, I wish once again to bow to the memory of the innocent victims and to reiterate the resolve of the Republic of Armenia to fight, condemn and not tolerate xenophobia, racism and fanaticism in any manifestation. We have been and will continue to fight against all forms of genocide – the most horrendous crime against humanity, perpetrated anywhere in the world.
2015 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II and the Holocaust. I have no doubt that these milestones are also the behests to double our efforts to state unequivocally our firm position to prevent genocides. Never again the act or manifestation of genocide must become a threat and a destructive instrument against human existence and supremacy of human dignity.