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Statement to mark Holocaust Commemoration Day

Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

GENEVA (27 January 2013) – “Today is the day to remember that 70 years ago millions of Jewish men, women and children, as well as Roma, Slavs, disabled people, homosexuals, Jehovah’s witnesses, communists and other political dissidents were being brutally assassinated, simply because of who they were.”

“This important commemoration gives us the opportunity to reflect on one of the most tragic moments of our history and to remember the millions of lives that were destroyed in this senseless violence.”

“But this special day is also more than that. It is a reminder that the ultimate responsibility of making sure that such monumental crimes never happen again rests with each and every one of us.”

“This responsibility goes beyond words and good intentions. It requires us to maintain our ability to stand firm in our fight against discrimination and related hatred at all times. It requires us to not permit manifestations of hatred or discrimination to go unnoticed or unchallenged. It requires us, every single day of our lives, to stay vigilant against efforts to excuse or turn a blind eye to hate speech and acts of discrimination and incitement to violence.”

“Such constant vigilance is the only way to ensure there is no risk of repetition, and the best way to honour the memory of Holocaust victims.”

ENDS

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