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UNIS/SGSM/1296
25 January 2023

The Secretary-General

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

27 January 2023

Today, we honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

We remember the six million Jewish children, women, and men, as well as the Roma and Sinti, the people with disabilities, and countless others who perished.

We reflect on the millions of individual lives cut short; the millions of futures stolen away.

As we mourn the loss of so many and so much, we also recognize that the Holocaust was not inevitable. No genocide ever is.

It was the culmination of millennia of antisemitic hate.

The Nazis could only move with calculated cruelty from the discrimination of Europe’s Jews to their annihilation because so few stood up, and so many stood by.

It was the deafening silence – both at home and abroad – that emboldened them.

The alarm bells were ringing from the very beginning.

Hate speech and disinformation.

Contempt for human rights and the rule of law.

The glorification of violence and tales of racial supremacy.

Disdain for democracy and diversity.

In remembering the Holocaust, we recognize threats to freedom, dignity, and humanity – including in our own time.

Today – in the face of growing economic discontent and political instability, escalating white supremacist terrorism, and surging hate and religious bigotry – we must be more outspoken than ever.

We must never forget – nor allow others to ever forget, distort or deny the Holocaust.

Today and every day, let us resolve to never again remain silent in the face of evil – and to always defend the dignity and rights of all.

Thank you.

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