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‘We are all at risk’ when humanity’s values are abandoned; UN honours memory of Holocaust victims

Calling on the world to “stand together against the normalization of hate, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has stressed in his message for the International Day dedicated to honouring Holocaust victims that everyone has a responsibility to quickly and decisively resist racism and violence.

Mr. Guterres recalled that the International Day, marked annually on 27 January, was created to honour the memory of six million Jewish men, women and children that perished in the Holocaust and countless others lost their lives as cruelty convulsed the world.Yet, decades since the Second World War, there is still the persistence of anti Semitism and an increase in other forms of prejudice.Citing Neo-Nazis and white supremacy groups as among the main purveyors of extreme hatred, the UN chief said that too often, vile views are moving from the margins to the mainstream of societies and politics.

“Whenever and wherever humanity’s values are abandoned, we are all at risk,” stressed the Secretary-General.

[ read the full story at UN News ]

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

MESSAGE

ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COMMEMORATION

IN MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST

27 January 2017

 

Today, we honour the victims of the Holocaust, an incomparable tragedy in human history.  

The world has a duty to remember that the Holocaust was a systematic attempt to eliminate the Jewish people and so many others.

 It would be a dangerous error to think of the Holocaust as simply the result of the insanity of a group of criminal Nazis.  On the contrary, the Holocaust was the culmination of millennia of hatred, scapegoating and discrimination targeting the Jews, what we now call anti-Semitism.

Tragically, and contrary to our resolve, anti-Semitism continues to thrive.  We are also seeing a deeply troubling rise in extremism, xenophobia, racism and anti-Muslim hatred.  Irrationality and intolerance are back. 

 This is in complete contrast to the universal values enshrined in the United Nations Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

We can never remain silent or indifferent when human beings are suffering. 

We must always defend the vulnerable and bring tormentors to justice. 

And as the theme of this year’s observance highlights, a better future depends on education.

 

After the horrors of the 20th century, there should be no room for intolerance in the 21st.  I guarantee you that as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I will be in the frontline of the battle against anti-Semitism and all other forms of hatred.

 

Let us build a future of dignity and equality for all – and thus honour the victims of the Holocaust who we will never allow to be forgotten. 

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