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Secretary-General Calls for Efforts against Resurgent Xenophobia, Marking International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day

Following is UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, observed today:

Today, we honour the memory of the 6 million Jews and millions of others who were systematically murdered in the Holocaust by the Nazis and their collaborators.  This year’s anniversary takes place under the shadow of the COVID‑19 pandemic, which has revealed long‑standing fractures and injustices in our societies and contributed to a resurgence in anti-Semitism and xenophobia.

The Holocaust was the culmination of two millennia of discrimination, attacks, expulsions and periodic mass killings of Jews.  It should have ended anti-Semitism for good.  But, it did not.  Anti-Semitism, unfortunately, remains alive and well.

Today, white supremacists and neo-Nazis are resurgent, organizing and recruiting across borders, intensifying their efforts to deny, distort and rewrite history — including the Holocaust.  The COVID-19 pandemic has given them new opportunities to target minorities based on religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, disability and immigration status.

We must make urgent joint efforts to stop them.  As we consider the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must address the fragilities and gaps exposed by the pandemic and strengthen our mutual bonds, based on our common humanity.

This year must be a year of healing.  Healing from the pandemic, and healing our broken societies in which hatred has all too easily taken root.  As we remember those who died in the Holocaust and honour the survivors, our best tribute is the creation of a world of equality, justice and dignity for all.


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