JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has condemned the rise of 'anti-Semitism' in Europe, claiming the economic crisis had revitalised the extreme right, with its "corrosive and dangerous" rhetoric.
In a strongly worded speech at the annual memorial day at the Mansion House in Dublin to mark the anniversary of the Holocaust, Mr Shatter also spoke out against "Holocaust denial" which he claimed was the "favourite sport of some, in particular in Europe and in the Middle East".
Holocaust denial, he claimed was "the first cousin of those who still see Jews, for no reason other than they are Jewish, as legitimate targets for hate speech and random violence and of extremists who would, if they could, bring about a second Holocaust by the extermination of the six million Jews who today are citizens of the State of Israel".
The commemorative service saw many leading figures of the political, legal and artistic world take part in readings to mark the Holocaust, including the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Susan Denham; Children's Ombudsman Emily Logan; Dr Martin McAleese; Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan; poet Micheal O Siadhail; Judge Catherine McGuinness and novelist Jennifer Johnston. Candles were lit by descendants and relatives of those who perished at the hands of the Nazis.
The Memorial Day is organised by the Holocaust Education Trust Ireland, which is funded by the Department of Justice and Equality.
Mr Shatter last night pledged that "such support will continue".
In his speech, he said it was right that Ireland remembered that "the doors of this State were kept firmly closed" to Jewish families who desperately sought sanctuary here during the Nazi reign of terror in the 1930s. He recalled how in 1938, Charles Bewley, the then Irish minister plenipotentiary in Berlin had advised the Irish government not to admit Jewish refugees into Ireland.
A year before the outbreak of World War II, Mr Bewley had endorsed the Nazi narrative and stated that he was not aware of any cases of deliberate cruelty on the part of the German government towards Jews.
Himmler's wicked heart: P22