International Holocaust Remembrance Day
January 27, 2011
To remind the world of the lessons to be learnt from the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide.
January 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated this day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD), an annual day of commemoration to honor the victims of the Nazi era. Every member nation of the U.N. has an obligation to honor the memory of Holocaust victims and develop educational programs as part of an international resolve to help prevent future acts of genocide. The U.N. resolution that created IHRD rejects denial of the Holocaust, and condemns discrimination and violence based on religion or ethnicity.
The awakening of the UN to Holocaust commemoration is an important step in heightening awareness of the Holocaust and of its devastating impact on the world. More than sixty years since the Holocaust, we still wonder what the world has learned. This year we can say perhaps that the world has learned to remember, and in remembrance of the particular event – the murder of the Jews – we can address the universal implications – the challenge posed to modern civilization. Only in remembering and learning the past can we hope to secure the future.