January 27 marks the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the date the United Nations has chosen to commemorate victims of the Holocaust during World War II. Six million Jews were murdered by Germany’s Nazi regime and its collaborators, along with 5 million non-Jews who were killed.
The remembrance day, designated by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session, falls on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, by Soviet troops in 1945.
The UN resolution came after a special session was held earlier on 24 January 2005 during which the General Assembly marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust.
Prior to the 60/7 resolution, there had been national days of commemoration, such as Germany’s Tag des Gedenkens an die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus (The Day of remembrance for the victims of National Socialism), established in a proclamation issued by Federal President Roman Herzog on 3 January 1996; and the Holocaust Memorial Day observed every 27 January since 2001 in the UK.
The Holocaust Remembrance Day is also a national event in the United Kingdom and in Italy.