International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27)

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Since 2005, the entire world has been commemorating the victims of the horrific Nazi program that was intended to deprive humanity of, among other things, a community that had been a part of it throughout its cultural history, from its inception to the present. Murderous practices that until then seemed to be the creation of sick madmen, or the apocalyptic visions of writers such as Dante Alighieri, have suddenly become reality. Eight decades ago, the world changed. Those who experienced and survived that inferno have always tried to issue warnings that such horror should never happen again - but! Why did it take sixty years for International Holocaust Remembrance Day to become part of the global culture and the world's moral imperative? Why didn't something like this happen immediately after the war? Yes, we know, the answers are obvious - historical context!. But the aftertaste remains.

But today - it is already 2024 - many other questions have arisen. This is no longer just an academic matter of interest to a handful of historians, or to the descendants of those who miraculously escaped from that inferno. Nowadays it is really a memento, with all that goes with it.

On October 7, 2023, the worst massacre of the Jewish population took place since the end of the great tragedy we commemorate today. Yes, we know, when asked why, we can hear similar answers to those given years ago, although this time we are in a completely different historical context. But the aftertaste remains. And not only that.

Humanity as such seems to be unteachable. 27 January 2024 will surely be another in a series of dignified commemorations of the victims of the Holocaust. But is that enough?


JUDr. Tomas Kraus

Director of the Terezin Initiative Institute