UN vows to 'never forget' Holocaust tragedy
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Durban - Monday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27).
This is the annual day the world remembers the tragic Holocaust associated with World War 2 and the systematic killing of six million European Jews and 11 million others by the Nazis and their cohorts between 1933 and 1945.
The Durban Holocaust and Genocide Centre staged their own event on Wednesday to remember the closure of Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, the Nazi’s main concentration camp, located in Poland.
More than 200 people packed the Centre’s main auditorium to listen to keynote speaker and Brown University History and German studies professor Omer Bartov.
The US-based academic had the full attention of his audience as he shared anecdotes and discoveries he made about the Holocaust and war-time atrocities in his book 'Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz'.
Also on display at the event was an exhibition by Richard Wiesel. Wiesel's photographs captured objects that once belonged to Holocaust victims.
Proceedings began with a video recorded message from Antonio Guterres, UN secretary general.
The inter-governmental UN organisation was formed to bring countries together in peace on the back of the WW2 horrors.
Guterres said: “We pledge never to forget. We will tell their stories and honour their memories by defending everyone's right to live in a just and peaceful world.
“75 years ago, the liberation from the death camps and the carnage that horrified the world happened after the full scope of the Nazis' crimes became clear.
“Out of these horrors, the UN was created to bring countries together for peace and to prevent a repetition of such crimes against humanity.
“A resurgence of hatred in recent years shows that anti-Semitism and other forms of racist bigotry, racism and prejudice still occurs.”
Guterres said that society’s drive to oppose such negativity must not end.
“Today and everyday, we commemorate the victims of the Holocaust by pursuing truth, remembrance and education, and sowing peace and justice around the world.”