International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Holocaust was a watershed tragedy in modern history. The Nazi extermination of Jews was predicated on a state-sanctioned anti-Semitic, racist ideology. Genocide against Roma and Sinti, as well as mass murder of others based on their ethnic origin, religious beliefs, political opinions, sexual orientation, disability, or other characteristics, were also based on a state-sponsored system of intolerance and hatred.

These atrocities revealed starkly that the worst expressions of anti-Semitism, bigotry, and intolerance are not relics of the distant past, but can manifest themselves in contemporary situations with catastrophic and far-reaching effects.

The OSCE member states have committed to fostering Holocaust memory. Commemorating the tragedy not only pays tribute to the victims but also strengthens our resolve to continue our fight against intolerance and discrimination, which remains one of the most contentious political and moral issues of our time.

The majority of participating States have opted to remember the Holocaust in various ways, one of which is through the establishment of national days of commemoration. This document summarises the manner in which OSCE member states remember the Holocaust.  Observances differ significantly amongst participating States in terms of the dates chosen, the types of events held, and the victims commemorated.

Ceremonies held by governments on Holocaust memorial days are significant for a variety of reasons. By staging such events, member States can fulfil a pledge they made. Government funding demonstrates that Holocaust commemoration is a national endeavour, not limited to particular victim gr.

Holocaust Memorial Day also serves as a reminder that our shared effort to eradicate intolerance and discrimination is far from ended. Finally, but certainly not least, memorial activities can serve as effective instructional instruments for children and adolescents. This publication provides numerous instances of how well-planned commemoration events may connect with our youth and instil hope for a better future.

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