Credit: © Maison du Grand-Duc / Sophie Margue

Sunday marked National Day of Commemoration, during which Luxembourg remembered the victims of Nazi occupation in the Grand Duchy between 1940 and 1945.

Every year on 10 October, Luxembourg celebrates the National Day of Commemoration. This year, several commemorative ceremonies took place across the capital, attended by His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg City Mayor Lydie Polfer, Chamber of Deputies President Fernand Etgen and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence François Bausch, among others.

On Sunday morning, Grand Duke Henri laid a wreath in front of the Luxembourg Solidarity National Monument (Kanounenhiwwel), before rekindling the flame of remembrance. He was accompanied on this occasion by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Defence Minister François Bausch and Luxembourg City Mayor Lydie Polfer, as well as the Chief of Staff of the Luxembourg Army, General Steve Thull, and the Director General of the Grand Ducal Police, Philippe Schrantz.

A second ceremony saw Luxembourg's Prime Minister join the President of the Jewish Consistory of Luxembourg for the unveiling of an explanatory panel at the monument in memory of the victims of the Shoah (Kaddish monument). Both President Albert Aflalo and Prime Minister Xavier Bettel delivered speeches. Mr Aflalo, the Prime Minister, Mayor Lydie Polfer and Chamber President Fernand Etgen laid flower wreaths in front of the monument. The Chief Rabbi of Luxembourg, Alain Nacache, then said a prayer.

At the end of this ceremony, Fernand Etgen, Xavier Bettel, François Bausch and Lydie Polfer lay wreaths in front of the Memorial monument (Gëlle Fra in Place de la Constitution), in the presence of General Steve Thull and Philippe Schrantz. Paca Rimbau-Hernández, President of the "Amis des Brigades Internationales-Luxembourg" (Friends of the International Brigades-Luxembourg), and Prime Minister Xavier Bettel delivered speeches, before unveiling an inscription on the base of the Gëlle Fra in memory of the volunteer fighters of the Spanish Civil War.

Later on Sunday morning, Fernand Etgen, Xavier Bettel, Lydie Polfer and Erny Lamborelle, President of the FEDEF (federation of forced enlisted persons), laid wreathes on front of the Deportation Memorial in Luxembourg-Hollerich. Erny Lamborelle and Prime Minister Xavier Bettel each delivered speeches.

In the afternoon, Luxembourg's Prime Minister delivered a speech at the National Monument to the Resistance and Deportation (Hinzerter Kräiz). The president of the Protestant consistory of Luxembourg, Emmanuelle Bauer, Chief Rabbi Alain Nacache and Vicar General Patrick Muller then proceeded to the blessing of the tomb at the monument. Fernand Etgen, Xavier Bettel and Lydie Polfer laid wreathes in front of the monument.

In its proclamation on this occasion, the Luxembourg Government emphasised: "We must not, we can never forget the victims of the Holocaust: anti-Semitism, intolerance, racism and xenophobia cannot have a place in our society. [...] It is our duty to perpetuate the memory of the Second World War and to actively involve young people in it. Remembrance will thus remain a founding element contributing to an open and free society for future generations".