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Brussels commemorates youngest Belgium-based Holocaust victim

06:52 05/02/2024

Suzanne Kaminski, born 11 March 1943, and only 45 days old when she was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, has been honoured by a special paving stone in her memory.

The inauguration ceremony took place last week to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The location was at Suzanne’s birthplace, Rue de l’Etuve 8, minutes from the Grand-Place in the heart of Brussels.

Brussels schoolchildren attending the event brought white roses to put on the golden paving stone that reads: "Here lived Suzanne Kaminski".

Killed on 22 April 1943, the day she arrived at Auschwitz, Kaminski is the youngest Jewish child deported from Belgium to the horrors of the camps.

“While this child represented total innocence, she only knew anguish and horror,” said the German ambassador to Belgium, Martin Kotthaus. “This paving stone is today the solemn promise to never forget her.”

Insisting on how important this work of memory is at a time in which the extreme right is gaining ground and antisemitic acts are multiplying, he added: “Never again.”

Some six million Jews were systematically persecuted and exterminated by the German Nazi regime during the 1941-1945 Holocaust.

“Jewish children were particularly targeted in the framework of this policy of racial elimination,” said Meyer Zalc, president of the association to remember the Shoah (AMS) – the Jewish/Hebrew name for the Holocaust.

“It is therefore particularly important to remember these tragic events, to honour the memory of the victims, warn against the repetition of such crimes and to promote tolerance and the respect of human rights,” Zalc added.

On 1 November 2005, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 60/7 to designate 27 January as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The date marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and is chosen to honour the victims of Nazism.

The same resolution supports the development of educational programmes to remember the Holocaust and to prevent further genocide.

Written by Liz Newmark