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Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day (27 January 2020)

Monday, 27 January 2020

Today is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the allied powers; an anniversary that honours the memory of the millions of Jews who were exterminated with an industrial brutality never seen before, in the concentration and death camps of the Nazi regime.

International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust is also a day of responsibility and duty for us all to fight against the attempt to wilfully trivialise or even deny the blackest page in modern European history.

Today, Greece honours the memory of the millions of Jews, Greeks and non-Greeks, who fell victim to the most heinous crime in modern history. It also honours the survivors of the Shoah, acknowledging the indelible wounds to their souls and minds, and the heroic selflessness of the people who protected those persecuted mercilessly by the racial paranoia of the Nazi totalitarian regime.

Together with millions of other Jews, the Greek Jews and Jewish communities of Greece fell victim to an inconceivable barbarity that nearly brought about their extinction. The memory of these tragic events will remain indelible and alive. We all have a duty to keep these memories alive as a bulwark against any form of anti-Semitism, racism or intolerance, and as something new generations must avoid.

Since 2005, Greece has been a full member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and, under the Stockholm Declaration, undertook the responsibility to preserve the collective memory our fellow human beings who died in the Holocaust. Greece’s upcoming presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, in 2021, is practical recognition of its role in combating anti-Semitism and defending historical truth.

Greece will continue to fight racism, intolerance, discrimination, intimidation and xenophobia. It will continue to honour and protect the memory of those who were lost, and it is committed to working ceaselessly to ensure that those who lost their lives are never forgotten and that humanity never again experiences such horrors.