The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a reminder

Each year, International Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the horrors that confronted the world when the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz was liberated 65 years ago. “This day is important. It reminds us of the atrocities of the past, and of the responsibility we have today to fight genocide, oppression, racism, discrimination and anti-Semitism,” Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre commented.

In 2005, the UN General Assembly designated Jan. 27 an international day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust. The Nazi regime sought to eradicate not only the Jews of Europe, but also the Romani people, homosexuals, the disabled, the mentally ill and others.

“As a member of the Holocaust Task Force, Norway has undertaken  to promote Holocaust education and research with a view to preventing something like this from happening  again. We owe this to all those who lost their lives in the Holocaust, and we owe it to future generations,” Mr Støre said during yesterday’s commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration on the Holocaust. The Holocaust Task Force (ITF) currently has 27 member states, which cooperate to promote education, research and remembrance activities linked to the Holocaust and the persecution of the Jews during the Second World War. Norway holds the chairmanship of the ITF.

In Norway, International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked at the quayside in Oslo where Norwegian Jews were brutally stowed onto the “slave ship” SS Donau in 1942, to be transported to Auschwitz and extermination. The day is also commemorated at schools across the country and at special ceremonies in Falstad, Kristiansand, Risør and Telavåg.

“The currents and attitudes that led to the Holocaust and to genocide did not disappear when Auschwitz was liberated or when the Second World War ended in 1945. They are appearing in new forms and in new places. In our own time, new names have been added to a somber list: Cambodia, Rwanda, Srebrenica. In our country, too, there are groups who feel stigmatized and unsafe because of their beliefs. As a society, we must fight against this – against anti-Semitism and ideologies that exclude groups of people and spread hatred. This is a struggle that concerns us all, and where we all have a responsibility,” Mr Støre said.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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