What is International Holocaust Remembrance Day?

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OSWIECIM, POLAND – 2020/01/27: Former prisoners of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp attend the anniversary in Oswiecim. 75th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation and Holocaust Remembrance Day. The biggest German Nazi concentration and extermination camp KL Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by the Red Army on 27 January 1945. (Photo by Damian Klamka/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day, nations around the world honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.The purpose of International Holocaust Remembrance Day is two-fold: to serve as a date for official commemoration of the victims of the Nazi regime and to promote Holocaust education throughout the world.Since 2010, the UN has designated specific themes for the annual commemorations that focus on topics such as collective experiences and universal human rights. The 2022 theme is “Memory, Dignity, and Justice.” It will explore how preserving the historical record and challenging distortion are elements of claiming justice.

In addition, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day rejects any form of Holocaust denial. The resolution encourages member states of the UN to actively preserve sites that the Nazis used during the “Final Solution” View This Term in the Glossary (for example, killing centers, concentration camps, and prisons.) Drawing from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the resolution condemns all forms of “religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief” throughout the world.