"A constant effort to reflect and educate"
Millions of people were victims of the National Socialist regime, which makes the recurrent attempts to instrumentalise, relativise or have us forget the suffering of people at that time for political purposes all the more unbearable, said Minister of State Monika Grutters at this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. "All this demands that we push back firmly in our words and in our actions, and that we make a constant effort to reflect and educate – especially through and with the young generation," she stressed.
In this, the political and historic communication work performed by memorial sites and places of remembrance dedicated to the crimes perpetrated by the National Socialist regime is indispensable. "That is why, this year again, we will support them as far as we possibly can, in their efforts to reach even more people with the help of new activities, including online services," declared the Minister of State.
Online remembrance and memorial activities
Because of the COVID-19 regulations currently in place, many sites are already marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day with online activities and remembrance events that are not open to the public but are streamed live. Portrait videos, for instance, with stories from the lives of individual victims, give these people a face and a name, while a podcast tells the story of the resistance network known as the Red Orchestra. A series of virtual visits and guided tours also offers insights into the places where the National Socialists committed atrocities.
Selected activities to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day
In 1996 the then Federal President Roman Herzog declared 27 January the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism. On 27 January 1945 Soviet troops liberated the concentration camp in Auschwitz. About 1.1 million people were murdered there. Since 1996 a remembrance ceremony for the victims of National Socialism has been held every year in the German Bundestag.