“Remembrance plays a critical role in fighting the persistent forces of antisemitism and Holocaust denial and distortion. This is because remembrance ties us fundamentally to the facts, to what took place and the people it affected.”
– IHRA Chair Ambassador Michaela Küchler, German Presidency 2020–2021
The history of International Holocaust Remembrance Day
On 27 January 1945, the advancing Red Army entered the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp complex, liberating more than 7,000 remaining prisoners, who were for the most part ill or dying.
Days earlier, the SS had forced nearly 60,000 prisoners to evacuate the camp and embark on the infamous 'Death Marches,' in which many thousands lost their lives.
The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 to designate 27 January as the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the day upon which every year the world would mark and remember the Holocaust and its victims.
The IHRA's International Holocaust Remembrance Day events database
Each year International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked by a number of national and international events.
The overview of commemoration events provided in our database was compiled based on information provided by IHRA Member Countries, Liaison and Observer Countries, as well as Permanent International Partner organizations.
Online commemoration events
Remembrance events are increasingly making use of digital technology to commemorate those who suffered. This allows for more people from more parts of the world to join in honoring the victims and survivors. Digital remembrance can take a variety of forms, from multi-media installations to virtual museum tours to conversations with Holocaust survivors.
For example, on 27 January 2021, the IHRA joined together with the United Nations and UNESCO to organize a joint commemoration ceremony, which also included a panel discussion on Holocaust denial and distortion.