Jan. 27 marks the remembrance of the Holocaust, with world leaders reiterating their commitment to the words, "never again" even as scholars and survivors raise concerns about the growing prominence of antisemitism.
"First robbed of their names, then of their lives: No cemeteries, no headstones, no traces remain," U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at a ceremony commemorating a new Holocaust memorial Thursday. "The 6 million Jewish children, men and women are lost forever, but their memory and their names shall never be forgotten.
In Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, survivors' families and leaders held a ceremony to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German death camp in the final months of World War II.
The United Nations marked the event by unveiling a new exhibition known as "The Book of Names of Holocaust Victims," a 26.45-foot-long installation that identifies the names of 4.8 million Holocaust victims (so far). The names are arranged alphabetically, along with the victims’ place of birth and – if known – place of death. The book includes blank pages at the end to symbolize the more than 1 million unidentified Jewish victims.
THEY RISKED THEIR LIVES FOR OTHERS: AUTHOR RICHARD HUROWITZ REMEMBERS UNSUNG HEROES OF THE HOLOCAUST
Dani Dayan, chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Israel, said of the memorial that "We cannot revive even one of the millions that they murdered," referring to the Nazis and their campaign of eradication. "But we can – and do – restore the names and the stories of the victims."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Babi Yar on Friday as Ukraine honored the memory of millions of victims in the Holocaust.
"We know and remember that indifference kills along with hatred," Zelenskyy said. "Indifference and hatred are always capable of creating evil together only. That is why it is so important that everyone who values life should show determination when it comes to saving those whom hatred seeks to destroy."
However, while world leaders, including President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, vow "never again," statistics show the opposite.
SEN. CORY BOOKER INVOKES HOLOCAUST IN URGING BIDEN TO END TITLE 42
Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke at the European Union Thursday, urging world leaders to stand vigilant against the "extremes of European and world politics, which proudly raise the ugly banner of antisemitism."
"Unfortunately, the picture is disturbing," Herzog said. "Deeply disturbing. Antisemitic discourse festers not only within dark regimes; but within the heartlands of the free, democratic West. Jew-hatred still exists. Antisemitism still exists. Holocaust denial still exists."
"You must read the warning signs, detect the symptoms of the pandemic of antisemitism, and fight it at all costs."
In December, President Biden announced the establishment of an inter-agency group led by Domestic Policy Council staff and National Security Council staff to increase and better coordinate U.S. government efforts to counter antisemitism, Islamophobia and related forms of bias and discrimination within the United States.
MY GRANDFATHER PLOTTED A DARING ESCAPE FROM AUSCHWITZ. HERE'S HOW HE CHEATED DEATH
"Sadly, we have seen over and over again that hate never goes away," Biden said in a statement released Thursday. "It only hides—waiting to reemerge whenever it is given just a little bit of oxygen, and today, across our country, we are seeing swastikas on cars, antisemitic banners on bridges, verbal and physical attacks against Jewish businesses and Jewish Americans – even Holocaust denialism."
"It's vile," he continued. "It goes against everything we value as Americans. And each of us must speak out against this poison. Together, we must affirm, over and over, that hate has no safe harbor in America."
Sharon Buenos, global director of Zikaron BaSalon – a Holocaust commemoration social initiative – told Fox News Digital, "we want not only to remember the atrocities of the Holocaust but to make sure our future will be better and safer."
"We encourage people to participate in the project and commemorate not only the Jewish victims but also remember that the Nazi German forces killed Roma and Sinti, Slavs, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and political dissidents."
In a statement released Friday, Netanyahu underscored the need to remember and guard against the crimes of the Holocaust, vowing that such an atrocity "will never, ever, happen again to our people."
On behalf of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, on behalf of the survivors and those who perished, I vow to you as Prime Minister of the one and only Jewish state, that we will remain vigilant, strong and never allow the Holocaust to happen again."