UN remembers victims of Holocaust’s ‘unprecedented horror’

The UN held a virtual ceremony to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, in remembering the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust during the Second World War.

The Holocaust “defined the United Nations”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the ceremony, recalling that the UN Charter was drafted in San Francisco “as the Dachau concentration camp was liberated”, Xinhua news agency reported.

In remembering the Jews who perished in the Holocaust, along with the Roma and Sinti, and countless other victims of its “unprecedented horror and calculated cruelty,” the UN chief reminded that “our very name was coined to describe the alliance fighting the Nazi regime and its allies.”

“The United Nations must always be on the frontline of the fight against antisemitism and all other forms of religious bigotry and racism,” underscored the UN chief.

Across the globe, xenophobia and hatred are on the rise, said the top UN official.

Guterres described rising antisemitism, intolerance and proliferating Holocaust denials, in which “no society is immune.”

“We must never forget that the Holocaust could have been prevented. The desperate pleas of the victims fell on deaf ears. Too few spoke out, too few listened – fewer still stood up in solidarity,” he said.

He urged everyone to never be indifferent to the suffering of others, forget what happened in the death camps, or let it be forgotten by others.

In his address, Abdulla Shahid, president of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, mourned the losses of the women, men and children who “perished during the worst atrocity in human history.”

“We honor those whose lives were cut short by ruthless and intolerable acts fueled by bigotry, antisemitism, and hatred,” he said. “We ensure that they live on in legacy and in memory.”

And to prevent history from repeating itself, everyone must remember and keep “telling this story.”

“In memory of the Holocaust victims, and out of respect for the survivors, let us never forget. Let us unite for truth, peace, and justice for all.”

Kicking off the day’s events, the UN Chamber Music Society featured Jewish composers in performing a moving concert, designed to preserve the memory of the tragedy for future generations.

It also featured special performances from Argentine-Israeli Maestro Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, and artwork by Israeli New York-based artist, Roy Nachum.

The ceremony was followed by a virtual seminar entitled Legacy of Medicine During the Holocaust and its Contemporary Relevance, which was aimed at healthcare trainees and professionals to reflect on their core values in the service of humanistic and ethically responsible patient care.




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