January 27 is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It was approved by the UN General Assembly on November 1, 2005. The document’s adoption was initiated by Israel, Canada, Australia, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States, jointly with more than 90 other countries.

On January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the largest Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau (Poland). According to various estimates, from 1.5 to 2.2 million people were killed during the existence of the concentration camps. The exact number of victims could not be established, since the documents were burned. According to the Nuremberg Tribunal documents, 2.8 million people were killed there, 90 percent of whom were Jews.

“Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities, will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice,” reads the resolution of the UN General Assembly.

Since 1953, Israel has been awarding the people, hiding Jews during the Holocaust, the honorary title ‘Righteous Among the Nations.’ Today, there are about 15 thousand righteous people in the world, including nearly 3.5 thousand citizens of the former Soviet Union.

In memory of the six million Jewish victims of Nazism, the memorials and museums have been erected around the world. Among them are the Museum of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the Documentation Centre and Memorial in Paris, the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, the Museum in memory of 1.5 million Jewish children in Hiroshima, etc.

‘Holocaust’ has long been a term that refers to the Nazi mass extermination of the Jewish population of Europe (derives from the Greek word meaning ‘burntoffering,’ another meaning - ‘catastrophe’). In 1933-1945, a total of 60 percent of the Jewish population of Europe suffered systematic persecution. Around 2 900 000 people of Jewish nationality were lost on the territory of the former Soviet Union.

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