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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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January 25, 2013

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

Remembrance and Beyond


The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations joins colleagues today recognizing the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and conveyed the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s statement on the Commemoration.  The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) issued the following statement to the United Nations community:

Statement by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, January 27, 2013

The United Nations recognizes 27 January as the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joins the world community in remembering the murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. We remember that the Nazis also targeted members of other groups: Roma, Sinti, Slavs, people with disabilities, Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgendered persons. We give thanks for those who acted during the Holocaust to protect and rescue intended victims.

We affirm that all humanity is created in God’s image and that God calls us to treat each other with respect, dignity, and love. We affirm that intolerance, discrimination, and violence against communities or persons based on religious belief, ethnic origin or for any other reason, violate God’s intention for the human family.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), with more than 1.9 million members, works both nationally and internationally with congregations, church organizations, and mission partners. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) holds special consultative status through the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations

Ambassador Susan Rice, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations issued the following statement:

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, January 27, 2013

On the 68th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a day the international community has set aside to commemorate the memories of those so cruelly murdered in the Holocaust, we reaffirm our obligation to mourn, remember, and act. This is a day of shared sorrow and renewed resolve. We will always remember the hatred, cruelty and callousness of the perpetrators and the warped and twisted ideology that murdered six million Jews simply because they were Jews. We will always mourn all the victims of Nazi persecution, including gays, Roma, Slavs, disabled people, political opponents, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and all others whom the Nazis and their collaborators condemned as subhuman. We will always be haunted by the indifference of those who stood by. And we will always draw inspiration from the righteous of all nations who risked everything to rescue those in the path of the Nazis’ slaughter. If you save a single human life, the Talmud teaches us, it is as if you have saved the entire world.

As President Obama has said, “We must tell our children—but more than that, we must teach them. Because remembrance without resolve is a hollow gesture.” In the early years of this century, we must renew our determination to shelter civilians of all nations behind the rule of law and the rules of war. In a world in which evil and cruelty are all too real, the United States is launching a comprehensive effort to prevent and halt mass atrocities. On this International Day of Commemoration, may our governments and people come together to apply the lessons of the past—and ensure that the 21st century is far less bloodstained than the 20th. We cannot bring back the victims of the Shoah. But we can rededicate ourselves to expanding the reach of human decency, human dignity, and human rights—today and all days.

To find resource on how your congregation may participate in this commemoration, click here.

Categories: Compassion, Current Affairs, Human Rights, Israel and Palestine, United Nations, United States

Tags: commemoration, holocaust, jewish, pc(usa), remembrance, statement

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