International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023

On 27 January, we marked the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau and remembered the millions of Jewish women, men, and children as well as all other victims, among them hundreds of thousands of Roma and Sinti, murdered during the Holocaust. The EU Delegation in Geneva marked this important day with several activities.


The EU commemorates the six millions Jews, and members from other targeted groups who were brutally and systematically murdered during the Shoah: the greatest tragedy in human history. No one should ever forget the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis. Victims should never be forgotten. Every state around the world should honour all victims of the Holocaust, condemn Holocaust denial and distortion, and develop education programmes to help prevent genocides from happening ever again.

To mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023, the EU co-organised the United Nations Ceremony in Geneva, Friday 27 January, where Holocaust survivor Avraham Roet told his story of loss and survival. The ceremony further included remarks by Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, UN Geneva Director-General; Ambassador Meirav Eilon Shahar, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations in Geneva; as well as Ambassador Thomas Wagner, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to the UN in Geneva. Musical interludes were contributed by Amit Weiner, Yael Yekel and Marc Crofts, performing music composed during the Holocaust.

We bow our heads to all survivors who went through unimaginable pain and then had the strength to build a new life. We have a duty to preserve the memory of all the victims and their suffering. We owe it to those who perished in the Holocaust, we owe it to the survivors, and we owe it to our future generations.

Ambassador Thomas Wagner, Deputy Head, EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva

Furthermore, the EU and the Permanent Missions of Israel, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, the United Nations Office at Geneva, the World Jewish Congress, and ASWE organised an exhibition entitled "Days Beyond Time - Artist Meets Testimony". The exhibition was created by Beit Theresienstadt in Israel and is now showcased for the first time outside of Israel from 26 January to 20 February at D10 ArtSpace (6, Rue Ami-Lullin, 1207 Geneva). It is a multidisciplinary art exhibition bringing together artworks created in the Theresienstadt Ghetto during the Holocaust and new artworks by young Israeli artists of the third generation, who were inspired by testimonies of Holocaust survivors of Ghetto Theresienstadt.

Only if we reflect on our history, can we avoid that our future mirrors the mistakes of our past. So we need the new generation to know about the Shoah, about modern racism, and about Jewish life in today’s Europe and today’s world. Art can play an important role in this endeavour.

Ambassador Lotte Knudsen, Head, EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva

Antisemitism led to the Holocaust but, sadly, it did not end with the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. With the spread of mis- and disinformation and with many world leaders scapegoating minorities, the education of younger generations about the Holocaust is the best antidote. It is the best tool to fight intolerance, bigotry and to ensure that the message of “Never Again” reverberates throughout future generations. 

We remain stronger than ever in our commitment to never forget. We have a duty to preserve the memory of all the victims and their suffering. We owe it to those who perished in the Holocaust, we owe it to the survivors, and we owe it to our future generations.

Facts matter. History matters. Europe thrives when its Jewish community and other minorities can live in peace and harmony.