• 26 January 2024
  • 2 min read

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2024

  • 26 January 2024
  • 2 min read
'...if anything can, it is memory that will save humanity. For me, hope without memory is like memory without hope.' - Elie Wiesel, 'Hope, Despair and Memory'

Memory and humanity’s collective future

January 27th, 1945: A date we never forget.

The United Nations General Assembly established International Holocaust Remembrance Day to coincide with the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. On this day, we stop to remember the six million Jewish people who were systematically dehumanised and exterminated by the Nazis and their collaborators. As antisemitism surges across the globe, January 27 serves as a steadfast reminder of the consequences of hate and indifference.

The urgent necessity of the act of remembrance – its labour, pain and possibility – does not lessen with the passage of time. It compels us to strive for a future marked by tolerance, compassion and the unwavering defence of human dignity.

Black & white portrait of Elie Wiesel, smiling with hands clasped gently in front of his face

Elie Wiesel, public domain

Eliezer ‘Elie’ Wiesel bore tireless testimony to the Holocaust and advocated for the human rights of all victims of hate and oppression. Nearly three months following the first evacuation of Auschwitz, he was liberated from the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11, 1945. Losing most of his family to the Holocaust, he survived to become a professor, dedicated political activist, and writer, authoring 57 books including most famously Night.

In 1986, the Norwegian Nobel Committee acknowledged Elie Wiesel as 'a messenger to mankind,' and awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize. The following day, he gave a lecture titled ‘Hope, Despair and Memory’ reflecting on the Holocaust and the need for humanity to remember the horrors of the past to prevent history from repeating itself.

Wiesel's words are a reminder of the importance of confronting the darkest aspects of human history. His emphasis on the significance of hope in the face of despair serves as a rallying call, urging us to remain vigilant against the destructive forces of hatred and inhumanity.

As we commemorate this day, let us embrace the wisdom that, in remembering the Holocaust, we fortify our collective commitment to a world where such atrocities never recur.

For us, forgetting was never an option.

Elie Wiesel

'Hope, Despair and Memory'