World Marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yad Vashem Photo

(IFM) On November 1, 2005, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution designating January 27 as International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Rejecting any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, the General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution (A/RES/60/7) condemning "without reserve" all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief, whenever they occur.

It decided that the United Nations would designate 27 January – the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp – as an annual International Day of Commemoration to honour the victims of the Holocaust, and urged Member States to develop educational programmes to instil the memory of the tragedy in future generations to prevent genocide from occurring again, and requested the United Nations Secretary-General to establish an outreach programme on the "Holocaust and the United Nations", as well as measures to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help prevent future acts of genocide.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to the Cabinet (27 January): "Today, January 27, the day on which Auschwitz – which is so identified in the world’s consciousness with the Holocaust and the annihilation of the Jews – was liberated, the world marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Knesset will hold a special discussion tomorrow. Today is also Israel’s Day to Combat Anti-Semitism. The Government of Israel monitors displays of anti-Semitism around the world and the steps necessary to deal with the phenomenon."

A new Yad Vashem exhibit, BESA: A Code of Honor – Muslim Albanians Who Rescued Jews During the Holocaust, Photographer: Norman Gershman, will be displayed at the United Nations Headquarters for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2008.

Yad Vashem has decided to initiate an International Youth Congress as part of the proceedings marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, 2008. This conference, gathering youth leaders from across the globe to meet, converse and make the voice of their generation heard on the subject of shaping Holocaust remembrance and its significance for the future, will be held at Yad Vashem.

The three-day congress will bring together students from all around the world in a joint effort to expand their knowledge on Holocaust-related issues, such as the challenges of preserving the memory of the Holocaust in the 21st century which will ultimately enable them to draft a declaration that will strengthen their commitment to Holocaust remembrance and its implications for future generations.

Children in the Ghetto

"Children in the Ghetto" is a new website about children, written for children. It portrays life during the Holocaust from the viewpoint of children who lived in the ghetto, while attempting to make the complex experience of life in the ghetto as accessible as possible to today’s children.

Along with the description of the hardships of ghetto life, it also presents the courage, steadfastness and creativity involved in the children’s lives. One of the most important messages to be learned is that despite the hardships, there were those who struggled to maintain humanitarian and philanthropic values, care for one another, and continue a cultural and spiritual life.

At the center of this site is an imaginary representation of a street in the ghetto. The site invites children to “move around the street” and “enter” various locations in it. In each of the locations, original exhibits such as video testimonies, photographs, paintings, artifacts etc. are accompanied by interactive and thought-provoking activities.

The site "Children in the Ghetto" is a result of fruitful cooperation between Snunit – a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing online education, established by the Hebrew University and the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. This site was made possible with the support of the Claims Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

Statement by the President in Memory
of the Victims of the Holocaust

President Bush participating in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance. In the background (right to left), Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President Shimon Peres, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Joseph (Tommy) Lapid.

Yad Vashem Photo

WASHINGTON –(BW)– On the third International Day of Commemoration, we remember and mourn the victims of the Holocaust.

I was deeply moved by my recent visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum. Sixty-three years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must continue to educate ourselves about the lessons of the Holocaust, and honor those whose lives were taken as a result of a totalitarian ideology that embraced a national policy of violent hatred, bigotry, and extermination. It is also our responsibility to honor the survivors and those courageous souls who refused to be bystanders, and instead risked their own lives to try to save the Nazis’ intended victims.

Remembering the victims, heroes, and lessons of the Holocaust remains important today. We must continue to condemn the resurgence of anti-Semitism, that same virulent intolerance that led to the Holocaust, and we must combat bigotry and hatred in all forms, in America and abroad. Today provides a sobering reminder that evil exists and a call that when we find evil we must resist it.

May God bless the memory of the victims of the Holocaust. And may we never forget.