The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, has today decorated Holocaust survivor Pedro René Pérez with the Order of Civil Merit for his courage in telling the world about his experience and sending a message of peace and brotherhood.
Pedro René Pérez (Vienna, 1936) was forced to flee with his family from Nazi persecution in Austria. He was interned in the Rivesaltes camp in Vichy France along with his parents. There he shared internment with Gypsy prisoners and numerous Spanish Republicans, who later saved his life.
During the meeting, they discussed the survivor's connection to Spain and his experience during the Holocaust. The decoration, as the Minister stated during the meeting, is awarded “in recognition of his bravery, together with that of his entire family and the Sephardic community that managed to flee the Nazi barbarity; his courage in telling the world about his experience and sending a message of peace and brotherhood; and his eagerness to preserve Ladino as a language of communication”.
Pedro René Pérez has travelled to Spain to give his testimony at various events as part of Holocaust Remembrance Month, organised by Centro Sefarad-Israel. On Friday 26 January, he spoke in the Senate on the occasion of the State Act for Holocaust Remembrance Day and for the Prevention of Crimes against Humanity. René Pérez also participated in meetings with students and in various public events.