International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Theme, significance, events scheduled

Published on Jan 27, 2022 07:48 AM IST

The theme of International Holocaust Remembrance Day encompasses safeguarding the historical record, remembering the victims, and challenging the distortion of history.

A man visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.(AFP)
A man visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.(AFP)

The United Nations will mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday in honour of six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, and millions of other victims of Nazism. On this day, the UN urges every member state to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

The theme of this year’s Holocaust remembrance and education is “Memory, Dignity and Justice”. The theme encompasses safeguarding the historical record, remembering the victims, and challenging the distortion of history often expressed in contemporary antisemitism. It encourages action to challenge hatred, strengthen solidarity and champion compassion, according to the UN.

“The writing of history and the act of remembering brings dignity and justice to those whom the perpetrators of the Holocaust intended to obliterate,” the UN says on its website.

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The UN organises Holocaust commemorative and educational activities to draw attention to the actions taken by the survivors to reclaim their rights, history, cultural heritage and traditions, and their dignity.

On Thursday, the UN Chamber Music Society will perform a virtual concert in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The virtual concert will include a classical music programme featuring Jewish composers, special performances from musicians from Maestro Daniel Barenboim’s West–Eastern Divan Orchestra.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will speak at the Holocaust memorial ceremony hosted by Melissa Fleming, UN under-secretary-general for global communications. The speakers include Petra Gelbart, granddaughter of Romani Holocaust survivors Helena “Margita” Nová and Antonín “Ruda” Hránek, and Elisha Wiesel, son of Holocaust survivors Marion and Elie Wiesel. The ceremony will include testimonies from Holocaust survivors from Canada, Israel, South Africa and the US.

A virtual seminar “Legacy of Medicine During the Holocaust and its Contemporary Relevance” will be presented to catalyze critical thinking on the relevance of the Holocaust for contemporary medicine.

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