Welcome speach of Jean SAMUEL
Dear comrades, dear friends, ladies and gentlemen,
Today we are here to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau camp and I would like to welcome you on behalf of the International Committee of which I have been Secretary General for a long time. My friend Abba Naor, temporarily unavailable, but who will be coming back here in June, asked me to welcome you in his place.
We, the survivors, who are still here, will say that we were lucky having the chance to be able to testify again and again. For me, it began July 2, 1944,with the train from Compiegne to Dachau, nicknamed the Train of Death, of which I was one of the 37 survivors out of the 100 comrades of my wagon, deported from France for actvities of Resistance, and crammed during 3 days in a strong heat.
During our deportation, in Dachau and in the Neckar camps, we suffered all the constraints that alienated our freedom: hard labor, hunger, bullying. We hoped for the liberation so that we no longer suffer these humiliations.
We are sincerely dedicated to freedom, of which we have been deprived and primarly to the protection of the individual against all oppression and constraint.
We must be vigilant.
Currently in Europe, we perceive a relaxation and a threat that seem to undermine the freedom of thought and opinion.
We also see reviving anti-Semitic and nationalist movements.
But let's not lose hope because we see a whole generation of our children and grandchildren defending the values we fought for.