Today is International Holocaust Memorial Day-- so designated by the United Nations which chose the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau for the commemoration. (Holocaust Memorial Museum). President Obama issued a statement (full text) saying in part:
On January 27th, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we honor the memories of the 6 million Jews and millions of other innocent victims whose lives were tragically taken during the Holocaust over sixty years ago. Those who experienced the horrors of the cattle cars, ghettos, and concentration camps have witnessed humanity at its very worst and know too well the pain of losing loved ones to senseless violence.
But while this is a time for mourning and reflection, it is also the time for action. On this day, we recall the courage, spirit, and determination of those who heroically resisted the Nazis, exemplifying the very best of humanity. And like these courageous individuals, we must commit ourselves to resisting hate and persecution in all its forms.According to Deutsche Welle German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her weekly online podcast said in part:
Naturally, [Germany has] an everlasting responsibility for the crimes of national-socialism, for the victims of World War II, and above all, for the Holocaust.