Today marks the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is dedicated to the six million Jewish victims, two million Gypsies, 15,000 homosexuals and millions of other innocent victims of the Holocaust who were murdered by Nazi Germany and her allies during World War II. The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/7 designated January 27th as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day as it marks the anniversary of the liberation of the largest Nazi death camp, known as Auschwitz-Birkeneau, which was first come upon by Soviet troops in 1945. The 60/7 resolution urges every member of the United Nations to honor the memory of the innocent victims that were murdered during the Holocaust and encourages the development of educational programs about the history of the Holocaust in order to help prevent future acts of genocide. It condemns all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on religious or ethnic belief and rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event. It also vigorously attempts to preserve the Holocaust sites, such as the Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labor camps and prisons where innocent victims were tortured and murdered.
It is extremely unfortunate and inexcusable that in these modern times anti-Semitism still exists at all. In countries such as Austria where there has been a dramatic increase this year in hate crimes and in Hungary where Jews are again victims of physical attacks. The Jewish communities and student unions around the world need to unite and speak out against these horrific acts which will not be tolerated. – The World Zionist Organization are marking today with an international rally against anti-Semitism. WZO is broadcasting rallies from around the world in countries such as France, the USA, South America and Australia at the Mediatheque Theater in Holon. The event will end with the video-art dance performance “Anne Frank,” which is directed by Offer Zaks and María Barrios, former owners of the flagship dance company of Venezuela. – The production of the film did not come without its challenges. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez heard about the company’s rehearsals for “Anne Frank,” and was not pleased with the message that the performance was portraying. He demanded that Offer change the subject to the suffering of the Palestinians, however when Offer refused, soldiers came to shut down the company. Offer fled to Israel with his family and for the first time “Anne Frank” will be performed today. Passages from Anne Frank’s Diary and are used in the performance which tell her tragic story of a teenage girl growing up in the shadows of war. – The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust UK, who also mark the genocides of Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda and the ongoing Darfur situation, are running a project that aims to create awareness and involvement among communities. “Build a Bridge” has people sign up to make a pledge on how they are going to get further involved in their communities, making them safer and more inclusive. WUJS has made its pledge for 2013, bringing Jewish and non-Jewish students together for better understanding, acceptance and cooperation. – If you would like to be a part of this special project and make a pledge please visit their website: http://hmd.org.uk/