The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is annually observed on the 27th of January. It’s a solemn commemoration of the Holocaust which is considered to be the darkest period during the Nazi regime wherein millions of Jews including all other cultural minorities are brutally killed in mass concentration camps across the German-occupied Europe. The primary objective of the holiday is to honor both the deceased and surviving victims as well as to promote awareness of the Holocaust worldwide.
On November 1, 2005, the United Nations General Assembly has formally designated January 27 as the day of the holocaust commemoration through UN resolution 60/7. 27th of January was also specifically chosen because it was the day of liberation for Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi concentration or extermination camp nicknamed as “The Death Factory.”
All UN member states and offices observe the holiday with their own respective events and activities but from 2010, the UN started designating specific annual themes to focus on.
Holocaust 2017 – Holocaust Remembrance: Educating for a Better Future
The UN charter which established the holiday also stressed the reasons why the annual commemoration is observed. The holiday primarily aims to remember and honor the Holocaust victims. Second is the development of educational programs or materials about the Holocaust and its lessons. Related to this is the establishment of a Holocaust and the United Nations outreach program to be able to achieve said education purpose.
It also rejects any denial about the veracity of Holocaust and urges the preservation of Holocaust or Nazi-related artifacts and sites like the concentration, labor and prison camps. The resolution also condemns ethnic or religious discrimination as it states “Condemns without reserve all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief, wherever they occur.” But ultimately, all these aspects point to the aim of preventing a similar case of genocide today and in the future.