Spindelegger: "May 8th urges us to remember"
Vienna, 8 May 2013 – "The 8th of May 1945 was the day when the world was liberated from National Socialism and the day on which Europe was able to breathe a sigh of relief after the end of World War II. It was a day of new beginnings and remembrance", Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said today at an event organised by the Austrian Federal Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor to remember the liberation from National Socialism and the end of World War II in Europe.
May 8th is the day on which we remember the victims of the Nazi terror that descended upon Austria 75 years ago, in March 1938. Spindelegger said that May 8th meant not only the end of the war for Austria and Europe but also the beginning of reconstruction and thus of a new chapter in our history. "At the time the foundation stone for the peace project of Europe was laid, it was clear to this generation who had experienced the terror of war that peace was not a matter of course and that the basis for the new, unified Europe would have to be a commitment to common European values, democracy and the respect of human rights", Spindelegger said.
The European Union viewed itself as a community of peace, solidarity and common values from its very beginnings, the Foreign Minister continued. "We take democracy, rule of law and the respect of human dignity for granted. However, they are not certainties but the outcome of the commitment of individual people. Today's memorial day is therefore also a call to all of us to make the vision of Europe as a community of peace, values and solidarity palpable for all and to ensure that these historic achievements of post-War Europe are not forgotten", Spindelegger said and he also recalled the model role the peace project of the EU plays. "The peaceful expansion of the EU has also been a unique success story. From a Europe of six, it has grown into a Europe of what will soon be 28. Austria believes that this process must not remain incomplete. There is just one option for long-term peace in the Balkans and in Europe: the inclusion of the entire region in the European integration process", Spindelegger concluded.
Foreign Minister Spindelegger will also give a key address tonight within the framework of the "Fest der Freude" commemoration festivities in which he will refer to the importance of May 8th for Austria and Europe. The "Fest der Freude" event is organised by the Mauthausen Committee of Austria and supported by numerous organisations. The event is held to commemorate the day of liberation from the National Socialist regime and also to remember the millions of people who were persecuted and killed by National Socialists, as well as those who lost their lives in their fight against the National Socialist regime, resisted the Nazi claim to power, went into opposition or made important contributions to the liberation of Austria as members of the Allied troops.
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