International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Never again

If we want to do justice to the phrase “Never Again”, we must remember one of the most disgusting crimes in the history of mankind

January 27 is an important day to both celebrate and reflect on, as it marks the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust. This particular date, January 27, 1945, marks the day of the liberation of the concentration and extermination camp in Auschwitz, by the Red Army, in the last year of World War II.

If we want to do justice to the phrase “Never Again”, we must remember one of the most disgusting crimes in the history of mankind – the years that preceded January 27, 1945. The systematic persecution of the Jews by Nazi Germany was unique in the world in its form, even if we cannot rank the various suffering of peoples.

The essence of anti-Semitism in general, and the Holocaust in particular, is different because the Nazis approached Jews with a collector’s mentality. They went through the countries of Europe with a list of the Jews living there and specifically sought them out in order to murder them, and they did so quietly, efficiently, and on an industrial scale.

The infrastructure of the Holocaust was created for the Jews, but also Sinti and Roma, millions of Slavs, forced labourers, homosexuals and transsexuals, political prisoners, sick and disabled people and many more were deported, intentionally exposed to the unspeakable horror of the concentration camps and finally executed. All people the Nazis considered subhuman. The Holocaust is unprecedented in terms of its contempt for humanity, and anti-Semitism as the driving ideology behind the Holocaust is a particularly perfidious version of racism.

Frighteningly, anti-Semitism is deeply rooted in Germany, Europe and in various political movements. We must therefore fight it with special attention. We must do this especially in Germany, because political forces that want to make the crime of the Holocaust forgotten are gaining strength. We must oppose them with determination and fight this together with all human sisters and brothers who are oppressed, exploited and persecuted. All forms of misanthropy and racism must be outlawed.

So today we remember all those who were disenfranchised, tortured and murdered by the Holocaust. We must pause and say: Never again.

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