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, 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 witnessing a global rise of anti-Semitism and hateful discourses, this has never been so relevant.


“The Holocaust was the product of an ideology of biological racism, of which a central element was hatred of Jews. […]. Three generations on, preserving the memory of the Holocaust means continuing the struggle against anti-Semitism, whose proponents persistently sully the memory of the dead in order to attack Jews today. The preservation of this memory requires support for historical research. It also requires education about the history of the Holocaust and other genocides and mass crimes.[…]. Together with educational leaders around the world, UNESCO carries out this work on a daily basis through educational research and training and through the UNESCO university chairs, as part of the Organization’s global citizenship education programmes."

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

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On 27 January 2019, UNESCO hosts a global screening event of the film “Who Will Write Our History.”

The film tells the story of the clandestine group Oyneg Shabes, formed by Emanuel Ringelblum. Under the most extreme conditions, the group created one of the most significant archives to survive the Holocaust, telling the story of the Warsaw Ghetto and the destruction of the Jews of Poland from their own point of view.


The 2019 commemoration is organized in cooperation with

Sponsored by SNCF and the Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO.

The World Jewish Congress is a communication partner through the #WeRemember social media campaign.


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