The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, which wiped out nearly two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population, between 1933 and 1945.
According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia, International Holocaust Remembrance Day serves two purposes: to act 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 UN General Assembly, on November 1, 2005, adopted resolution 60/7 to declare January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD).
The date was chosen to mark the date that Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Red Army in 1945.
The resolution rejects all forms of Nazi denial and encourages member states of the UN to actively preserve sites that the Nazis used during the "Final Solution," such as killing centres, concentration camps, and prisons.
The UN Headquarters holds official commemorations every year with different themes. UN offices across the world and other state offices also conduct their own ceremonies.
Several countries hold national commemoration ceremonies on other dates connected to the Holocaust. Many, such as the UK's Holocaust Memorial Day, are observed on Januray 27, while others, are commemorated at other times of the year.
For example, Argentina declared April 19, the day of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, as the National Day for Cultural Diversity. Hungary designated April 16 as National Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the establishment of the ghetto in Munkács. The US Days of Remembrance correspond to Israel's annual Holocaust Remembrance Day - Yom Ha-Shoah.
The theme for International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023 is “Home and Belonging”. The theme highlights the plight of the Holocaust victims and survivors, who were removed from their homes and had their sense of belonging ripped from them by perpetrators of the Holocaust.
It reminds us of our responsibility towards victims of atrocities. It urges us to fight hate speech, Holocaust distortion and denial, and prejudice, and to do all in our power to prevent genocides.
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