Building peace in the minds of men and women

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

27 January

Every year around 27 January, UNESCO pays tribute to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and reaffirms its unwavering commitment to counter antisemitism, racism, and other forms of intolerance that may lead to group-targeted violence. The date marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Soviet troops on 27 January 1945. It was officially proclaimed, in November 2005, International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust by the United Nations General Assembly.

The Holocaust profoundly affected countries in which Nazi crimes were perpetrated, with universal implications and consequences in many other parts of the world. Member States share a collective responsibility for addressing the residual trauma, maintaining effective remembrance policies, caring for historic sites, and promoting education, documentation and research, more than seven decades after the genocide. This responsibility entails educating about the causes, consequences and dynamics of such crimes so as to strengthen the resilience of young people against ideologies of hatred. As genocide and atrocity crimes keep occurring across several regions, and as we are witnessing a global rise of antisemitism and hate speech, this has never been so relevant.

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

"Whenever this history is questioned, whenever violence is done to the memory of the victims, the rise of anti-Semitism and hate speech is encouraged, an everyday scourge of Jewish communities around the world. More than ever, we must therefore be vigilant. It is our shared responsibility to protect the truth, and to keep alive the memory of all those who suffered under the Nazi regime; to support research and documentation that can confront the fantasies of fanatics with the reality of history; and to study and teach the Holocaust, so that education may prevent anti-Semitism and all forms of racism." —  Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

2022 COMMEMORATIONS

To mark the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, UNESCO will organize a series of events. Due to restrictions put in place because of COVID-19, and to reach global audiences, the majority of events will be held online. Events will include a commemoration ceremony and a panel discussion on the legacy of Jewish artists who died during the Holocaust on 27 January 2022, in addition to an exhibition at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. UNESCO Field Offices and Regional Bureaus will also join the global commemoration of the International Day by organizing local events.

The 2022 commemorations are organized thanks to the generous support of the Permanent Delegation of Germany to UNESCO.

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Commemoration ceremony

The ceremony held on 27 January from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. will include high-level remarks by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, UNESCO Director-General Audrey AzoulayH.E. Mr Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, and H.E. Mr Isaac Herzog, President of the State of Israel, and Mr Piotr Cywiński, Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, music from UNESCO Headquarters from Renaud Capuçon, internationally renowned violinist and UNESCO Artist for Peace, accompanied by pianist Guillaume Bellom, and traditional prayers from cantor and mezzo-soprano Sofia Falkovitch from the Mémorial de la Shoah

 

 

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Exhibition - Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors

The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain exhibition showcases over 50 contemporary photos of Holocaust survivors and their families, shining a light on the full lives they have lived and the collective responsibility to cherish their stories. It features new works from 12 contemporary photographers, including Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. Through a series of individual and family portraits, the moving photographs in this exhibition present survivors who made the United Kingdom their home and the special legacy which their children and grandchildren will carry into the future.
The exhibition will be on display on the fences of UNESCO Headquarters from 20 January to 4 February 2022. It will be formally launched with a virtual event on 25 January 2022 at 5 p.m. (Paris time).

The exhibition is organized by UNESCO and the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain in partnership with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, the Jewish News, the Imperial War Museum, and the Association for Jewish Refugees, with the generous support of the Permanent Delegation of the United Kingdom and the Permanent Delegation of Monaco to UNESCO and the World Jewish Congress.

 

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Round table

Highlighting the work and legacy of Jewish artists before and during the Second World War, UNESCO and the Musée d’art et d’histoire de Judaïsme (MAHJ) are organizing an online round table on 27 January 2022 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Paris time). A group of international experts will discuss the life and legacy of the journalist and writer Hersh Fenster and that of the 84 Jewish artists he has portrayed in his book “Our martyr artists”, published in Yiddish in 1951. The round table discussion is based on the MAHJ exhibition : « Hersh Fenster et le shtetl perdu de Montparnasse ».

 

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Events organized by European Union National Institutes for Culture

The European Union National Institutes for Culture organizes a series of events from 26 January to 6 February to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

CAMPAIGNS

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Protect the Facts

The #ProtectTheFacts campaign seeks to increase awareness of Holocaust distortion. It empowers individuals to identify and counter Holocaust distortion in society and on social media. The campaign aims to protect the historical record of the Holocaust by promoting historical literacy and Holocaust education, contributing to a culture of genocide prevention. The campaign is jointly implemented with the United Nations, the European Commission and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

 

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We Remember

#WeRemember is a global commemoration campaign of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and UNESCO to raise awareness about the importance of remembrance culture for the present. Since 2017, the WJC and UNESCO invite audiences globally to participate in the campaign and to post a photo with the hashtag #WeRemember to express their commitment to Holocaust remembrance.

RESOURCES