UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon has urged countries to be vigilant against bigotry and extremist ideologies that have the tendency of causing a recurrence of the torturous holocaust which occurred several years ago. The remarks were contained in a statement he released on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.
The observance day is held on 27th January each year across the world to recollect the sufferings of millions of people who were ill-treated and mercilessly tortured to death. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Journey’s through the Holocaust”.
Find below Ban Ki-Moon’s statement
Every year on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschitz concentration camp, we commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. WE recall the suffering of millions of innocent people and highlight the perils of anti-Semitism and hatred of any kind.
This year we focus on journeys through the Holocaust — and I recall a recent journey of my own.
Last November, I walked through the infamous “arbeit macht frei” gate at Auschwitz-Birkenau. I will never forget my visit.
I saw horrific remnants of the machinery of genocide, as well as moving images of European Jewish life in the 1930s — weddings, family meals, rituals, other scenes of simple daily life — all extinguished through systematic murder unique in human history.
I saw the barracks where Jews, Roma, Sinti, homosexuals, dissidents, prisoners of war and persons with disabilities spend their final days in the most brutal conditions.
The United Nations was founded to prevent any such horror from happening again. Yet tragedies from Cambodia to Rwanda to Srebrenica show that the poison of genocide still flows.
We must be ever vigilant against bigotry, extremist ideologies, communal tensions and discrimination against minorities. And we must teach our children well. The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme has developed effective educational materials and strong partnerships that help convey these lessons to students around the world.
Standing near the crematorium at Auschwitz, I felt deeply saddened by all that had happened within. But I was also inspired by all those who liberated the death camps for all humanity. Let us join forces today on a shared journey to a world of equality and dignity for all.