On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said that “coordinated global action” was needed to combat the increase of neo-Nazism and white supremacy the world has seen since the coronavirus pandemic.
The international commemoration of the Holocaust takes place every year on Jan. 27, the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
“This is just the latest manifestation of an anti-Semitic trope that dates back to at least the 14th century, when Jews were accused of spreading the bubonic plague,” he added.
Citing a study by the Claims Conference, Guterres noted that almost two-thirds of young Americans do not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. The 50-state study conducted in 2018 showed an alarming and distorted understanding of the Holocaust by those born since 1980.
Nearly two-thirds of US adults unaware 6m Jews killed in the Holocaust – study https://t.co/UAW1WzyjLD
— The Guardian (@guardian) September 16, 2020
Speaking at the event with Guterres was Rabbi Arthur Schneier, a 90-year old Holocaust survivor, who noted that “children are not born with hatred; they are taught how to hate. Holocaust education in schools is a must.”
To mark the day, Yad Vashem—Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum—will hold a number of online events and activities, including a virtual guided tour of the permanent exhibition “Shoah,” located in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
Yad Vashem has also uploaded “My Lost Childhood,” a new exhibit featuring seven children’s homes established after the end of World War II, complete with survivor testimony.