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Greece Honors International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The logo of International Holocaust Rememberance Day projected on the facade of the Hellenic Parliament building.
Greece commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day and projected the logo of the international awareness campaign on the Hellenic parliament building. Credit: AMNA

The logo of the international awareness campaign for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day was projected onto the facade of Greece’s Parliament (Hellenic Parliament) in Athens on Friday evening.

The Greek parliament’s plenary session began earlier on Friday with a reference to the Remembrance Day for Greek-Jewish Martyrs and Heroes of the Holocaust, followed by a minute of silence in memory and honor of the six million Jews and other victims who suffered the unprecedented cruelty and horror of the Nazi regime.

“We also honour, however, all those that managed to survive, the living witnesses of the death camps during the second world war,” said 3rd Parliamentary Vice-President Thanasis Bouras during the event.

Bouras pointed out that all humanity has a duty on this day to remember the inhuman actions and events of the Holocaust, and to continue the fight against Nazism as World War II slips further into the past and the number of survivors dwindles.

Greek officials commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day

“Today, on the 79th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by the Red Army, we honor the International Remembrance Day of the millions of victims of the Holocaust, of a heinous crime that left an indelible mark in the international history,” the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, posted on social media.

“The slogan “Never again” is timeless, reminding that the preservation of the historic memory goes together with our active participation in the shielding of the Democracy,” the Greek official concluded.

In its own statement, issued on Saturday, the Greek Foreign Ministry paid tribute to the victims of Nazi atrocities, including tens of thousands of Greek Jews. It echoed a message of responsibility similar to the one expressed by President Sakellaropoulou.

“It is a duty of all of us to ensure that the collective memory of the Holocaust is preserved in order to serve as a barrier against all forms of racism, intolerance and hate speech. Greece will continue to work to combat all forms of discrimination and to prevent all crimes against humanity and human dignity”, the Foreign Ministry stated.

20 years of International Holocaust Rememberance Day

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day was established twenty years ago today.

In January 2004, the Hellenic Parliament unanimously declared January 27 as the day of commemoration and honor for Greek Jews who lost their lives in the Nazi concentration camps, while in the following year the UN General Assembly declared January 27 as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The date is chosen to commemorate the liberation by the Soviet Army of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, the largest concentration and extermination camp of the Nazi regime, on January 27, 1945.

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