The Slavonic community and its friends and supporters, included the Deputy Ambassador of the Mission of Ukraine to the European Union, Ms Iryna YEFREMOVA, and her husband, gathered on Monday, October 23rd, at the Cercle Royal Gaulois in Brussels in order to express their solidarity with Israel, condemning the attacks that occurred on October 7th, declaring their support for the existence of Israel and the respect of human rights of the Jewish population and accusing the terrorist organisation Hamas of crimes against humanity.

Representatives of EU institutions, members of the Brussels diplomatic corps and an international public attended a diversified evening offering a combined programme of speeches and musical reflexions, which gave a deep spiritual dimension confessing solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people in these trying times.

Particularly significant was the presence of Ukrainian citizens at this solidarity and commemoration act, themselves having been brutally attacked and now at war against a cruel invader.

Introduced by the SLAVONIC EUROPE President, Mr David CHMELÍK, who emphasised the human motivation of this evening as well as the special link as a Czechoslovak and as a Slav to Israel and to its Slavonic population, the programme continued with a very touching composition – “Old Tune” – of the contemporary Israeli composer Alex KALMAN, who arranged his composition for clarinet and piano for piano solo for this special evening, interpreted by the Ukrainian pianist Yaroslav KRYZHANIVSKYI. The “Old Tune” represented a very typical Jewish musical style, which showed close links to the traditional Slavonic music form of Dumka.

Greeting and wishes followed from Charles MICHEL, President of the Council of the European Union, who wished a successful event, Josep BORRELL, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security of th EU and Vice-President of the European Commission, who regretted to be abroad and would have very much liked to attend, Dubravka ŠUICA, Vice-President of the European Commission, who wished a very successful event, Didier REYNDERS, EU Commissioner of Justice, who sent the message that his thoughts are with the Jewish people in these trying times and Stéphane SÉJOURNÉ, President of the RENEW Group in the European Parliament, who reiterated all his support, compassion and solidarity with all the family’s victims and hostages, standing with the Jewish people.

Both Israeli Embassies in Brussels, H.E. Ambassador ROSENZWEIG-ABU (Kingdom of Belgium) and H.E. Deputy Ambassador ROSENZWEIG (EU & NATO), as well as the President of the Coordination Committee of Jewish Organisations in Belgien, Mr Yves OSCHINSKI, couldn’t attend the event for security reasons, but wished SLAVONIC EUROPE a successful evening.

The event closed with a composition from Gideon KLEIN (1919-1944), a Czechoslovak Jewish composer, who perished in the Shoa: A “Lullaby” –  “Ukolébavka” – written in 1943 in the concentration camp of Terezín / Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia. This very emotional piece was interpreted by the Ukrainian soprano Anastasia VARGA and the Hungarian violinist, Pal SZOMORA, accompanied again by Yaroslav KRYZHANIVSKYI.

The solidarity act closed by the ANTHEM OF ISRAEL interpreted by all three musicians.