For information only - not an official document

25 January 2019

The Secretary-General

Message on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

27 January 2019

Dear friends,

Today we honour the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust - and the many other victims of unprecedented, calculated cruelty and horror.

This year's observance falls amid an alarming increase in anti-Semitism.

From a deadly assault on a synagogue in the United States to the desecration of Jewish cemeteries in Europe, this centuries-old hatred is not only still strong - it is getting worse.

We see the proliferation of neo-Nazi groups, and attempts to rewrite history and distort the facts of the Holocaust.

We see bigotry moving at lightning speed across the Internet.

As the Second World War recedes in time, and the number of Holocaust survivors dwindles, it falls to us to be ever vigilant. 

And as the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Sacks, so memorably said: "The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews". 

Indeed, we see intolerance entering mainstream politics -- targeting minorities, Muslims, migrants and refugees, and exploiting the anger and anxiety of a changing world.

Now more than ever, let us unite in the fight for universal values and build a world of equality for all.

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