The Holocaust was a genocide that happened during World War II, where millions of European Jews were killed by Nazi Germans. During this time period, other mass-killings of different groups, such as the Polish and Ukrainians, were also carried out by the Nazis. According to the Wiener Holocaust Library, antisemitism, eugenics (“racial improvement” from “planned breeding”) and nationalism were some of the factors of why the Holocaust happened.
In honor of the six million Jews who died, and other victims of Nazism, the United Nations General Assembly made the 27th of each January to be International Holocaust Remembrance Day. According to the UK Parliament, Jan. 27 also marks the day of the “liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland in 1945.” Auschwitz-Birkenau, also known as the Auschwitz concentration camp, consisted of more than 40 concentration and extermination camps, with some equipped with gas chambers.
According to the United Nations’ website, the 2023 Holocaust Memorial Ceremony’s (also Jan. 27) theme was “Home and Belonging,” which “highlights the humanity of the Holocaust victims and survivors.” The purpose of the theme was to raise awareness of the horrors of the Holocaust. In addition, the United Nations developed educational programs to help prevent genocide. The ceremony was hosted by Melissa Fleming, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, at 11 a.m. EST at the United Nations Headquarters. The ceremony also included speeches from several Holocaust survivors. This year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the 78th year since the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.