Prince Charles to warn ‘hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart’ at Holocaust memorial

Prince Charles will today warn how ‘hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart’ when he joins world leaders in Israel to commemorate the Holocaust and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

The Prince of Wales met with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence, Beit HaNassi, in Jerusalem this morning ahead of the World Holocaust Forum.

He will tell world leaders that ‘language is used which turns disagreement into dehumanisation’ and society must remain ‘resolute in resisting words and acts of violence’.

Charles’ address at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, will be heard by guests including US Vice President Mike Pence, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The three-hour-long event – called ‘Remembering the Holocaust: Fighting Antisemitism’ – looks to project a united front in commemorating the genocide of European Jews amid a global spike in anti-Jewish violence in the continent and around the world. 

Prince Charles will today warn how ‘hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart’ when he joins world leaders in Israel to commemorate the Holocaust and mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz (pictured: meeting with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in the capital on Thursday morning)

The Prince of Wales meets President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem on the first day of his visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories

The Prince of Wales meets President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem on the first day of his visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories

The Prince of Wales speaks to the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday morning at his official residence in the capital, later today the royal will speak at the World Holocaust Forum

The Prince of Wales speaks to the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday morning at his official residence in the capital, later today the royal will speak at the World Holocaust Forum

The Prince of Wales meets President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem on the first day of his visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories

The Prince of Wales meets President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem on the first day of his visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Prince of Wales meets President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem on the first day of his visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories

The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Israel's President Reuven as they are surrounded by other officials in Jerusalem on Thursday morning

The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Israel’s President Reuven as they are surrounded by other officials in Jerusalem on Thursday morning

Charles will say in his speech: ‘The lessons of the Holocaust are searingly relevant to this day. Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart, still tell new lies, adopt new disguises, and still seek new victims.

‘All too often, language is used which turns disagreement into dehumanisation. Words are used as badges of shame to mark others as enemies, to brand those who are different as somehow deviant.

‘All too often, virtue seems to be sought through verbal violence. All too often, real violence ensues, and acts of unspeakable cruelty are still perpetrated around the world against people for reasons of their religion, their race or their beliefs.

‘Knowing, as we do, the darkness to which such behaviour leads, we must be vigilant in discerning these ever-changing threats; we must be fearless in confronting falsehoods and resolute in resisting words and acts of violence. And we must never rest in seeking to create mutual understanding and respect.’ 

US Vice President Mike Pence (L) and his wife Karen disembark from a plane upon their arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport on Thursday to attend the World Holocaust memorial which marks the 75th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz

US Vice President Mike Pence (L) and his wife Karen disembark from a plane upon their arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport on Thursday to attend the World Holocaust memorial which marks the 75th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport on January 23

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport on January 23

French President Emmanuel Macron prays at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City on Wednesday night

French President Emmanuel Macron prays at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday night

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has invited Charles to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the prince will tour Bethlehem and sit down for talks with Mr Abbas.

Scott Furssedonn-Wood, Charles’s deputy private secretary, said of the World Holocaust Forum: ‘The prince is honoured to be among the small number of international leaders who have been invited to address the event and have the opportunity on behalf of the United Kingdom to honour the memory of all those who were lost in the Holocaust.’

Charles’s visit has added significance as the Queen has never made an official visit to Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories during her 67-year reign.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (front L) looks behind him as he stands next to (L to R) French President Emmanuel Macron (front-2nd L), his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin, and German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as they pose with other heads of state for a group photograph following a dinner reception at the Israeli President's official residence in Jerusalem, on Wednesday night

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (front L) looks behind him as he stands next to (L to R) French President Emmanuel Macron (front-2nd L), his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin, and German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as they pose with other heads of state for a group photograph following a dinner reception at the Israeli President’s official residence in Jerusalem, on Wednesday night

The ministerial jet Voyager is believed to be undergoing scheduled maintenance and the prince has travelled to the Middle East by chartered plane.

Mr Furssedonn-Wood said: ‘We always look at a range of options, we take a number of factors into account when we decide how to travel, we weigh up things like cost of course with environmental impact as you’d expect, but also efficiency of time, size of delegation and crucially safety and security.’

He highlighted a number of recent trips, including Charles’s official visits to Japan and India, when he flew on commercial airlines, but for this tour, he said, scheduled flights could not satisfy all of their considerations.

During his first day in the Holy Land, the prince will also meet Holocaust survivors and be joined by the UK’s Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis.

While in the Middle East, Charles is also likely to pay his respects at the resting place of his grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, in Jerusalem’s Church of St Mary Magdalene.

More than one million people, most of them Jews, were killed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. Six million Jews died in the Holocaust (pictured: watchtowers of former Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp complex are pictured in Oswiecim, Poland earlier this month)

More than one million people, most of them Jews, were killed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. Six million Jews died in the Holocaust (pictured: watchtowers of former Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp complex are pictured in Oswiecim, Poland earlier this month)

Visitors enter the Hall of Names to look at pictures of Jews killed in the Holocaust during a visit to the Holocaust History Museum at the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem earlier this month

Visitors enter the Hall of Names to look at pictures of Jews killed in the Holocaust during a visit to the Holocaust History Museum at the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem earlier this month

She was honoured by the Jewish people for hiding and saving the lives of Jews in Nazi-occupied Athens during the Second World War.

The prince’s visit – his first official tour of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories – follows a similar visit made by his son, the Duke of Cambridge, who visited Israel and the Palestinian areas in 2018.

Charles has made previous trips to Israel, travelling to Jerusalem to attend the funerals of President Shimon Peres in 2016 and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.