Eighty years ago today, senior Nazi officials gathered in Berlin to plan the implementation of the Holocaust, the worst crime in human history. The so-called Wannsee Conference led to the systematic establishment of death camps, and ultimately war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Nearly six million Jews were murdered, 1.5 million of them children, alongside a large number of persons belonging to other minorities and target groups of the Nazi ideology.
Today, the General Assembly is sending a strong and unambiguous message against the denial or the distortion of these historical facts. I am pleased that the entire membership is united in sending this important message - together and with one voice.
I would like to thank Israel for the trusting cooperation in co-facilitating this resolution with us. Thank you to the numerous co-sponsors for their support. And thank you to all Member States for your constructive participation in the informals. With your help, we managed to agree on a text that is substantial, focused and balanced. I also thank the President of the General Assembly for convening this meeting today, on the very day that marks the 80th Anniversary of the Wannsee Conference.
Germany joined this initiative immediately after the new government took office in Berlin last month. It is Germany’s historical responsibility to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive and we are fully aware that we carry a special obligation in this regard.
Keeping the memory alive is a diverse task that comes in many forms. One important element, however, is to relentlessly oppose any attempt aimed at diminishing, distorting or denying the historical facts. Because, as we put in in the resolution: “ignoring historical facts increases the risk that they will be repeated”.
It is disturbing that Holocaust Denial and distortion have been on the rise again in recent years, especially online. Therefore, in the resolution we just adopted, we go beyond simply condemning the denial of the Holocaust. While acknowledging the efforts made so far, we call on Member States and UN specialized agencies, but also on social media companies, to take active measures against this disturbing trend.
In one week from today, we will commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day. I believe that the resolution we just adopted is a significant contribution towards keeping the memory of the victims alive, and to making sure that the horrors of the past will never repeat themselves.
Nie wieder. Never again.
On January 20, 2022 the General Assembly of the UN in New York adopted by consenus a new resolution which calls an States and non-state actors to take active measures against Holocaust denial.