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New Zealand marks Holocaust Memorial Day

27 January 2005

New Zealand marks Holocaust Memorial Day

Prime Minister Helen Clark today said that the world's sense of horror at the atrocities in Nazi concentration camps has not faded in the sixty years since the liberation of Auschwitz, and must not fade.

"New Zealand today adds its voice to all those mourning the horrifying death and destruction at Auschwitz and other camps.

"Today's commemorations are important in ensuring that the memory of the Holocaust continues to shape the international community's fight against genocide, racism, anti-semitism, and war crimes.

"It is also a reminder that each individual has the power to make a difference, for good or bad.

"This week New Zealand has taken part in the United Nations Special Session on the Holocaust, and re-dedicated itself to the active promotion of tolerance and understanding, and respect for those of all ethnicities, religions, and beliefs.

"The Nazi camps bore witness to the massacre of many peoples of different ethnicities and beliefs, of those who were mentally and physically disabled, and of homosexuals. But as the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has noted, the tragedy of the Jewish people in the Nazi era was unique.

"Today our thoughts are with members of New Zealand's Jewish community, as we join them in paying our respects to the memory of those many millions who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

"Today is a day to honour the survivors as well as the victims, and to commit New Zealand to ensuring the horrors of the Holocaust are not repeated," said Helen Clark.

ENDS


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