International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023: History, significance and theme

File photo of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Image: Wikipedia

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked on 27 January each year by the United Nations (UN). The day is observed to honour the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust, and millions of other victims of Nazism. Every member state is urged by the UN on this day to develop educational programs to help in the prevention of future genocides. Official commemorations are held by the UN Headquarters every year. UN offices across the globe and other state offices also observe their own ceremonies. The educational activities conducted by the global body on this day draws attention towards the actions taken by survivors to reclaim their rights, history, traditions, cultural heritage, and their dignity.


The UN General Assembly adopted resolution 60/7 to declare 27 January as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 1 November, 2005. The day marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Resolution 60/7, not only honours the victims of the Holocaust but also rejects any kind of Holocaust denial. The resolution also encourages the UN member states to actively preserve sites that the Nazis used during the “Final Solution” like killing centres, concentration camps, and prisons. Final Solution refers to the systematic mass murder of Jews of Europe.

The first commemoration ceremony of International Holocaust Remembrance Day was conducted on 27 January 2026 at the UN Headquarters in New York. Around 2,200 people attended the commemoration. Many more individuals across the world were able to witness it on television as the ceremony was broadcasted live.


Those countries were profoundly impacted by the Holocaust in which the Nazi crimes were perpetrated. It resulted in universal consequences and implications in various other parts of the world. A collective responsibility is shared by the member states for addressing the caring for historic sites, residual trauma, and maintaining effective remembrance policies regarding the Holocaust.


This year, International Holocaust Remembrance Day will be observed with the theme “Home and Belonging”. The theme “highlights the multidimensional human needs of victims of atrocity crimes and the dangers of hate speech, antisemitism, Holocaust distortion and denial, and prejudice,” according to the global body.

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