19 January 2010

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Holocaust Survivors ‘Living Testament That Tyranny, Though it May Rise, Will


Surely Not Prevail’, Says Secretary-General in International Day Message


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, observed 27 January:

The theme of this year’s commemoration at United Nations offices around the world is the legacy of survival.

Countless men, women and children suffered the horrors of the ghettos and Nazi death camps, yet somehow survived.

All of them carry a crucial message for all of us.  A message about the triumph of the human spirit.  A living testament that tyranny, though it may rise, will surely not prevail.

Survivors also play a vital role in keeping the lessons of the Holocaust alive for future generations.

Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest and most notorious of the camps, was liberated 65 years ago today.  There and elsewhere, many millions of people were systematically abused and murdered.  Most of them were Jews.  But others were targeted, too.  At Auschwitz, thousands of those killed were inhabitants of the Roma and Sinti “family camp”.

Holocaust survivors will not be with us forever ‑‑ but the legacy of their survival must live on.  We must preserve their stories ‑‑ through memorials, through education, most of all through robust efforts to prevent genocide and other grave crimes.

The United Nations is fully committed to this cause.  Together, let us pledge to carry forward the mission of Holocaust remembrance ‑‑ and uphold human dignity for all.

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*     Reissued for technical reasons.

For information media • not an official record