27th of January is the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust b_134_74_16777215_00_images_content_news_633.jpg 27th of January is the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust b_180_0_16777215_00_images_content_news_633.jpg

Kyiv, Ukraine. Rejecting any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, on November 1, 2005, the 191 members of the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution 60/7 designating 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

The Assembly condemned all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief and urged Member States to develop educational programmes and to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and commemoration to instil the memory of the tragedy in future generations and to prevent genocide from occurring again.

27 January was chosen to be the International Holocaust Remembrance Day as it marks the day on which the largest Nazi death camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau (Poland) was liberated by the Soviet army in 1945.

The resolution reaffirms that the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities, will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of activism for human rights and democracy to prevent tyranny.

Addressing the world community this day, the Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated:

“Today, for the first time, the United Nations marks what will, from now on, be an annual observance: the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. There can be no reversing the unique tragedy of the Holocaust. It must be remembered, with shame and horror, for as long as human memory continues.

Only by remembering can we pay fitting tribute to the victims. Millions of innocent Jews and members of other minorities were murdered in the most barbarous ways imaginable. We must never forget those men, women and children, or their agony. Remembering is a necessary rebuke to those who say the Holocaust never happened or has been exaggerated. Holocaust denial is the work of bigots. We must reject their false claims whenever, wherever and by whomever they are made.

Remembering is also a safeguard for the future. The abyss reached in the Nazi death camps started with hatred, prejudice and anti-Semitism. Recalling these origins can remind us to be ever on the lookout for warning signs. As the Holocaust recedes in time, and as the number of survivors dwindles, it falls to us – the current generation -- to carry the torch of remembrance and uphold the cause of human dignity.

The United Nations was founded as a reaction to the horrors of the Second World War. Even so, the international community has too often failed to stand up to mass atrocities. In recent years, we have taken important steps to improve on that record, such as establishing the International Criminal Court and agreeing on the collective responsibility to protect.

On this International Day of Commemoration, the theme of our observance is “remembrance and beyond”. In that spirit, let us pledge ourselves to even greater efforts to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity.”

To learn more, please visit http://www.un.org/holocaustremembrance/ or please contact: Veronika Vashchenko, veronika.vashchenko@undp.org.ua, (044) 254-0035