“Pledge of never again”

27 January 2011 – On the same day in 1945, the largest and most notorious concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was set free. The evidence of unbelievable cruelty that conquered the camp shook every modern man’s conscience. Hence, on this day, each year since 2006, the United Nations, in concert with the whole world, celebrates the Holocaust Memorial Day. Exhibitions, thru music, arts and speeches, are being held at various UN offices. 

 We, at  IIMA Human Rights Office, joined the celebration held at Palais des Nations, Geneva to unite with this generation not only in honoring the memory of millions who perished but pledging to work together so that Holocaust shall happen never again.
The focus of this year’s commemoration, are the mothers, daughters, grandmothers, sisters and aunts who, in their courage, stood against all atrocities. The women, “despite appalling acts of discrimination, deprivation and cruelty, they consistently found ways to fight back against their persecutors. They joined the resistance, rescued those in peril, smuggled food into ghettos and made wrenching sacrifices to keep their children alive,” UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon recounted.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in her message reminded the dangers of marginalization of certain groups in society. “Hateful words have the ability to translate into hateful actions. The threat of genocide still remains. It is the ultimate and most terrible expression of intolerance, xenophobia and racism. This day is an annual reminder that we must act more decisively at the first signs that a climate conducive to genocide is starting to develop. We must be vigilant against emerging trends towards the vilification of communities and pre-empt, through law, policy and education, the prejudice that can in its worst forms lead to genocide.”

The millions of Jews, thousands of other victims, including Roma, Slavs, disabled people, homosexuals, Jehovah’s witnesses, communists and other political dissidents who were made to  live an impossible life only to die an impossible death will see justice no more.  Our generation, no matter how we try cannot make up for their sufferings or ease the sorrow of those whom they have left behind. But what we can only do, is to fulfil our promise that Holocaust and all forms of genocide shall forever remain a history. By setting aside our prejudices and celebrating our differences, we can all live in harmony