Monday, January 29, 2007

Holocaust Remembrance Day: Remember, Reflect, Resolve

On November 1, 2005, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Israel and set aside January 27 of each year as Holocaust Remembrance Day. This date marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau which was the largest Nazi concentration camp. In adopting the resolution, the assembly urged the nations of the world to observe the day so that future generations will be spared acts of genocide.

The United Nations resolution also rejects denial of the Holocaust in full or in part and condemns without reserve discrimination any violence based on ethnicity or religion. The assembly also requested United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Anan to establish an outreach program on the "Holocaust and the United Nations" as well as measures to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education.

In an atrocity unparalleled in evil and scope, six million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Between 1940 and 1945, about 1.5 million men, women and children died at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Auschwitz, is the author of 36 works dealing with Judaism, the Holocaust and the moral responsibility of all people to fight hatred, racism and genocide. In his book, Night, one of the most profound and renowned works of Holocaust literature, Wiesel records his lifelong personal anguish with the Holocaust:
"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never."
United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum
Click here to visit site
Interactive Map of Auschwitz
Click here to visit site

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