General News

How The World Celebrated Holocaust Remembrance Day

Holocaust Remembrance Day
Rafal Zambrzycki / Sejm RP from Polska, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international memorial day observed on January 27 every year, dedicated to the millions of people, including 6 million Jews, who were murdered under Adolf Hitler’s Nazi rule during the Second World War. This day was officially proclaimed in November 2005, on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, commemorating the tragedy and in memory of the victims of the Holocaust by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). 

The official theme for this year is “Facing the Aftermath: Recovery and Reconstitution after the Holocaust.” Rememberance Day is important to pay respects to the victims of the Holocaust and to remind ys of the Nazi atrocities. The memories of these atrocities is to ensure the prevention of further mass crimes, genocides or crimes against humanity. 

Across the European continent, countries paid respect in their own unique ways, with opportunities being limited due to the ongoing pandemic. Institutions around the world,  including the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum in Poland, Yad Vashem in Israel and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C planned online events. Leaders around the world delivered remarks or statements in remembrance of the victims. 

The royals in Britain interacted with aging survivors of the Holocaust when Duchess Kate of Cambridge held a virtual call with them; which included a (also virtual) reunion with two nonagenarians who have been friends since they met as teens in a concentration camp in 1944. 

Ephraim Mirvis, who serves as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, made sure that this year the scope of the remembrance day would be widened to include all victims of genocide around the globe, until present day. He spoke of how we have not yet learnt all the lessons from the horrific wars. 

Efforts around the world on this day were to ensure that the survivors know that they are now loved and cared for, and that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.