Fact of the day: 27th January

On this day in 1996, Germany observes International Holocaust Day for the first time. 27 January, is an international memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust, the genocide that resulted in the annihilation of 6 million Jews, 2 million Gypsies, 15,000 homosexual people and millions of others by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.

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Resolution 60/7 establishing 27 January as International Holocaust Remembrance Day urges every member nation of the U.N. to honour the memory of Holocaust victims, and encourages the development of educational programs about Holocaust history to help prevent future acts of genocide. It rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an event and condemns all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief. It also calls for actively preserving the Holocaust sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labour camps and prisons, as well as for establishing a U.N. programme of outreach and mobilization of society for Holocaust remembrance and education.

The reason this date was chosen was because 27 January is the date, in 1945, when the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated by Soviet troops.

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