United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
January 27, 2023
Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
On this solemn day, we join the international community in commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. Today we remember the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators, and also the many other victims of Nazi persecution – Roma, LGBTQI+ persons, persons with disabilities, Slavs, and opponents of Nazi oppression. We mark this day and honor their memory by recommitting ourselves to the fight against a rising tide of antisemitism.
Today’s antisemitism takes many forms, from threats and violent attacks against Jews to hate speech, baseless conspiracy theories, and Holocaust denial or distortion. The horrific history of the Holocaust obligates all of us, around the world, to stand against antisemitism and other dangerous manifestations of hate. History has shown us that a failure to confront lies with facts, and evil with effective action, has catastrophic consequences.
Those murdered in the Holocaust were people with families, dreams, and aspirations for a better future. Some time ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem and to rekindle the eternal flame, which illuminated a crypt filled with the ashes of Holocaust victims. It was heart wrenching. I was also deeply moved by a display of everyday personal belongings taken from Holocaust victims – pocket watches, wedding rings, family photos. It served as a reminder that those who were killed in the Holocaust were just like us, and that if we do not stand strong, and stand together, it could happen again.
The United Nations was forged in the wake of the Holocaust and the Second World War to prevent future descents into depravity. Appallingly, over the decades since, the world has witnessed more genocides and mass atrocities. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights tells us that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, yet hate continues to keep many from seeing our common humanity. May this solemn day of remembrance spur us to action against hate and help us to give real meaning and force behind the promise of “Never Again.”