International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is an international memorial day on 27 January commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. It commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jews, 1 million Gypsies, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, and 9,000 homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session.
27 January 2015 marks not only the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and death camp, but also the 20th anniversary of the Genocide in Srebrenica.
It’s a time for everyone to pause to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
A Prayer of Remembrance:
Almighty God, we remember before you this day those killed during the Holocaust, for the innocents murdered, for those who wrongly used your name to kill, and for those who did not speak up against such injustice. Guide us in our efforts to root out intolerance and prejudice in our world, that we may not make peace with oppression and may stand as witness to those who died. Help us to work towards the day when no one will fall to such a sword. We ask this through him who was executed as a criminal by an oppressive state, Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.
Poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.