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Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023


Barbed wire fence is pictured at the site of the former Nazi German concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

January 27, the date on which the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and death camp complex was liberated, is observed as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023
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The black granite pedestal of the Holocaust Memorial in Baltimore is inscribed with George Santayana’s most famous aphorism: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". That is why January 27, the date on which the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and death camp complex was liberated in 1945, is observed as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Holocaust was the result of Nazi Germany’s “Final Solution” to what they called “the Jewish Problem” -- the systematic attempted annihilation of European Jewry.

It was separate from the Nazi war effort. Indeed, the “Final Solution” often took precedence over the war effort: despite a desperate need for personnel and materiel on the front lines, no assets were diverted from death camp assignments. In the end, the “Final Solution” resulted in the murder of six million Jews.

Today, as the terrible events of the Second World War retreat from living memory, in many countries denial and distortion of the Holocaust are on the rise.

“It seems incredible that more than 75 years after the end of World War II and the Holocaust, people still deny and distort the facts of the genocide, one of the best-documented mass atrocities in human history,” said Ellen Germain, Special Envoy For Holocaust Issues at the Bureau Of European And Eurasian Affairs. “We have mountains of evidence, extensive survivor testimonies, and eyewitness accounts from those who liberated the concentration and death camps. Yet Holocaust denial and distortion persist.”

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance says that “Holocaust denial seeks to erase the history of the Holocaust. In doing so, it seeks to legitimize Nazism and antisemitism. Holocaust distortion acknowledges aspects of the Holocaust as factual. It nevertheless excuses, minimizes, or misrepresents the Holocaust in a variety of ways and through various media.”

“Countering Holocaust denial and distortion matters because all efforts to downplay or blur the facts of what happened and who was complicit are insults to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. It matters because it further perpetuates antisemitism. It matters because it can also fan the flames of violent extremism,” said Special Envoy Germain.

“Countering Holocaust denial and distortion matters because they threaten our ability to understand and learn from the history of the Holocaust,” she said.

“‘Never again’ is one of the most important moral lessons the world can draw from the Holocaust.”

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