Mourning Death of Six Million Jews, Secretary-General Urges Global Community to Speak Out for Human Rights, Never Let Guard Down, in Holocaust Remembrance Day Message

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, observed on 27 January:

Today, we pause to mourn the 6 million Jewish children, women, and men systematically murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators — and we grieve the Roma and Sinti, the people with disabilities, and so many others who were persecuted and killed in the Holocaust.

We honour their memory.  We stand with the survivors, their families and descendants.  We pledge never to forget — nor let others forget the truth of what happened.  And we recognize the horrific resonance this day of commemoration finds in our own times.

The antisemitic hate that fuelled the Holocaust did not start with the Nazis, nor did it end with their defeat.  Today, we are witnessing hate spreading at alarming speed. Online, it has moved from the margins to the mainstream.

But today of all days, we must remember:  That demonization of the other and disdain for diversity is a danger to everyone.  That no society is immune to intolerance — and worse.  And that bigotry against one group is bigotry against all.

As the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Sacks, so memorably said:  “The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews”.

And so today — especially in the wake of the abhorrent 7 October terror attacks by Hamas — we must resolve to stand up against the forces of hate and division.

We must condemn — unequivocally — whenever and wherever we encounter antisemitism — just as we must condemn all forms of racism, prejudice and religious bigotry, including anti-Muslim hatred and violence against minority Christian communities.

Let us never be silent in the face of discrimination, and never tolerant of intolerance.  Let us speak out for human rights and the dignity of all.  Let us never lose sight of each other’s humanity, and never let down our guard.

To all who confront prejudice and persecution, let us clearly say:  You are not alone.  The United Nations stands with you.

For information media. Not an official record.