New York – The theme of this year’s commemoration at UN offices around the world is the legacy of survival.
Countless men, women and children suffered the horrors of the ghettos and Nazi death camps, yet somehow survived.
All of them carry a crucial message for all of us. A message about the triumph of the human spirit. A living testament that tyranny, though it may rise, will surely not prevail.
Survivors also play a vital role in keeping the lessons of the Holocaust alive for future generations.
Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest and most notorious of the camps, was liberated 65 years ago today. There and elsewhere, many millions of people were systematically abused and murdered. Most of them were Jews. But others were targeted, too. At Auschwitz, thousands of those killed were inhabitants of the Roma and Sinti “family camp”.
Holocaust survivors will not be with us forever – but the legacy of their survival must live on. We must preserve their stories – through memorials… through education… most of all through robust efforts to prevent genocide and other grave crimes.
The United Nations is fully committed to this cause. Together, let us pledge to carry forward the mission of Holocaust remembrance – and uphold human dignity for all.