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, but also had 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, 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 about to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, this has never been so relevant.

UNESCO in its mandate for peace, fight against anti-semitism, racism and all other forms of discrimination to make this peace sustainable.

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

"While the Shoah inspires boundless reflection on the human species, recalling the possibility of the worst, it also carries a memory that must be forward-looking. [...] We all have a role to play – political actors, experts, historians, artists, the educational community and citizens. We can build up awareness against forgetting, denial, historical revisionism, relativization of crimes and the return of stereotypes that fuel hatred. We can oppose the manipulation of facts by speaking the truth. Combating antisemitism, in whatever form, is at the heart of this fight."

— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, on the occasion of International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

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