German elected officials, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and the speaker of Israel’s Knesset parliament, Mickey Levy, pose in front of Reichstag building that houses the German Bundestag in Berlin on Thursday, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

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Holocaust Remembrance Day: On the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945


Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945. 

Nearly two decades ago, the United Nations General Assembly designated Jan. 27 an annual day of commemoration for its member states, in honor of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism. (In addition to marking the anniversary of Auschwitz-Birkenau, many countries hold national commemoration ceremonies on other dates connected to the Holocaust). 

Remembrance Day also aims to promote Holocaust education, an especially timely mission with antisemitic incidents and Holocaust denialism on the rise in the U.S. and other parts of the world. 

Notably, today’s event arrives less than two weeks after a gunman held a rabbi and three others hostage for hours at a synagogue in the suburbs of Fort Worth, Texas. 

And it comes as outrage is building over a Tennessee school board’s decision to ban the Pulitzer Prize-winning Holocaust graphic novel “Maus” — over concerns about profanity and nude imagery (despite the characters being cartoon mice) — earlier this month, at a time when conservatives in many states seek to dictate how schools teach sensitive topics like racism and sexual health. In October, a Texas district made headlines after an administrator reportedly instructed teachers to provide students with “opposing” views of the Holocaust.

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