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 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust is a time to mourn those who disappeared and to reflect upon the choice of the individuals and governments that allowed this genocide to unfold. It is also a call for vigilance and for action, to address the root causes of hatred and prevent future atrocities from happening." — Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust


For the first time, the United Nations and UNESCO will jointly organize a series of events, in partnership with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, to mark the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Due to restrictions put in place because of COVID-19, and to reach global audiences, the events will be entirely online. Events will include a commemoration ceremony on 27 January 2021 and a panel discussion on Holocaust denial and distortion, broadcast by UNTV and CNN, in addition to   exhibitions in Paris and UNESCO Field Offices around the world.



Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget photo exhibition

Lest We Forget is a photo exhibition featuring victims of Nazi persecution, conceived by the German photographer and filmmaker Luigi Toscano, and in partnership with Austria, Germany, the European Union and the World Jewish Congress. Toscano visited and took portraits of more than 400 Holocaust survivors and victims of Nazi persecution in the United States, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Belarus, Austria and the Netherlands. 200 of these photographs are at the center of a unique photographic installation presented in commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

The exhibition displayed at UNESCO Headquarters from 18 January until 12 February is organised in partnership with the World Jewish Congress, the European Union, the Permanent Delegations of Austria, France and Germany to UNESCO, and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Paris.

Lest We Forget

Protect the Facts 

Holocaust denial and distortion attempts to delegitimize the history of the Holocaust by twisting established facts about the size and causes of the Nazi genocide of the Jews. Its transmission undermines attempts to understand and prevent antisemitism. Left unchecked, it threatens our shared human rights values and risks the promotion of conspiratorial thinking and violent extremism.

The #ProtectTheFacts  campaign seeks to increase awareness of the phenomenon of Holocaust distortion. It empowers individuals to identify and counter Holocaust distortion in society and on social media. The campaign aims to protect knowledge acquired through historical research on the Holocaust by promoting historical literacy and Holocaust education. Only when there is consensus about the basic facts of history, are we able to learn from the past and engage with it in the present so that we can prevent history from repeating itself.  We must #protectthefacts.


The 2021 commemoration is organized jointly with the

with the support of the Permanent Delegations of Austria, France, Germany and Monaco to UNESCO.