International Holocaust Remembrance Day
In 2005, the UN General Assembly in New York declared 27 January International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day, the world commemorates the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and the millions of victims of World War II, including those who died in concentration camps.
Six million Jews, around 500,000 Roma, and numerous members of other minorities as well as political opponents of the Nazi and Fascist regimes of various nationalities, including Slovenes, perished there during World War II. Slovenia remembers with sadness the all too many civilian casualties. On 27 January 1945, when the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, now a memorial and museum, was liberated, only 21 exhausted women of the more than 2,000 inmates from the then occupied Slovenia were still alive. During the occupation, 58,522 inhabitants of Slovenia were forcibly taken to German, Italian, Croatian and Hungarian concentration camps.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is also about remembering the Righteous Among the Nations and others who helped save lives during this tragic period in history.
To make sure that massive atrocities never happen again, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia and the members of the Slovenian delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) have been supporting and actively contributing to Holocaust remembrance, research and education for many years.
Since 2010, a series of commemorative and educational events is organised in Slovenia on this day, involving the Maribor Synagogue as coordinator and museum, educational, media and scientific research institutions. Since 19 January, numerous events and cultural activities have been taking place in Ljubljana, Maribor, Koper, Murska Sobota, Lendava, Nova Gorica, Postojna, Hrastnik, Lovrenc na Pohorju, Pivka, Ptuj, Radlje ob Dravi, Slovenska Bistrica, Šalovci, Trbovlje and Velenje as part of the "Shoah – Let Us Remember 2023” remembrance project. On 27 January, as in previous years, a varied educational programme runs in many primary and secondary schools across Slovenia. The list of events is available here.
A note by Mr Marko Rakovec, Head of the Slovenian delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, on this occasion: “I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have been working persistently to raise public awareness, especially among the younger generation, for your efforts to build a tolerant society based on respect for human rights, and I encourage you to continue your important work in Slovenian society”.