By Jim Fair
Catholics and people of all faiths around the world mark January 27 as Holocaust Remembrance Day, an annual time to remember the murder of more than six million Jews and others in Nazi Death Camps during World War II.
“Never again! Never again… In front of this appalling tragedy, indifference is inadmissible, and remembrance is a duty.”
Those were the words of Pope Francis during his Angelus address yesterday, January 26, 2020, recalling that January 27, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenhau concentration camp.
“On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we remember the millions of precious souls who perished as a result of the horrific crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime,” said US President Donald Trump in a message issued today. “We also reaffirm our steadfast commitment to confronting the vile poison of anti-Semitism wherever and whenever it arises.
“This year’s annual observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day is especially moving as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz… We ask that the world reflect on this day and seek to ensure that we stand united against intolerance and oppression of people of every race, religion, or ethnicity.”
The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Program seek to remind the world of the lessons to be learned from the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide.
The Outreach Program was created at the request of the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 60/7, adopted on 1 November 2005. The United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI) has taken the lead in creating a broad initiative, designed to encourage the development by United Nations Member States of educational curricula on the subject of the Holocaust and to mobilize civil society for education and awareness.
The “Holocaust Remembrance” resolution also designates January 27 as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust – observed with ceremonies and activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at UN offices around the world. The 2006 ceremony in the General Assembly Hall drew over 2200 people and was viewed by countless others globally via webcast and live television broadcast.
Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations General Assembly reaffirms that ‘the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one-third of the Jewish people along with countless members of other minorities, will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism, and prejudice”.
In addition, resolution 60/7 rejects any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, and commends those states which have actively engaged in the preservation of sites which served as Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labor camps, and prisons during the Holocaust.
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 61/255 adopted on January 26, 2007, also condemns any denial of the Holocaust and urges all Member States unreservedly to reject any denial of the Holocaust.
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