image Photo: Reuters

World marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day

On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, the world today commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Ceremonies and services in memory of the 6 million Jewish victims and 11 million others murdered by the Nazi regime and its collaborators were held at community centers, houses of worship and official institutions across the world.

Ambassadors to the United Nations released a series of statements concerning atrocities committed by the Third Reich and its allies during World War II, most of which were linked to increasing incidence of contemporary anti-Jewish activity. After saying “We remember the antisemitism in Europe in the 30’s,” and “today, we see that anti-Semitism is on the rise,” Israel’s envoy Danny Danon issued a call, “We have to stand together. We have to learn the lessons of the Holocaust and to make sure that it will never happen again.”

German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen commented that “Auschwitz and the Holocaust represent the darkest chapter” of his nation’s history, advocating “we must never forget that what happened during the Holocaust can happen again, we cannot take it for granted.”

Mitch Fifield, Australian Ambassador to the UN, remarked, “We remember the lives and the potential lost. We remember the families that been torn apart, and the families that were never started.”

Romania’s Ambassador Ion Jinga said that while “Legislative measures are very important,” and underscored “but what is absolutely crucial in the fight against ignorance and misinformation – and specifically Holocaust-denial and distortion – is the education of people.”

“Everyone says “never again”, and we really mean that,” remarked the United Kingdom’s UN Ambassador Karen Pierce, who went on to point out, “but sadly we see all over the world anti-Semitism is on the rise again – and this is something that we must all work very hard together with and in cooperation to stop from taking root.”