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  • Writer's pictureInternational Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies

The Zoryan Institute Marks Holocaust Commemoration Day - The Importance of Genocide and Human Rights

January 27, 2020, International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, seventy-five years on from the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi regime's largest concentration and death camp, the Zoryan Institute, and its subsidiary the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, honours the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Doris L. Bergen, the Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies and GHRUP 2020 Faculty Member, remarks that,

“Considering the Holocaust as world history reminds us of its specificity but also its universal dimensions. Violence, expulsion, destruction, assault on communal and individual lives—these are all-too-familiar experiences in the human past and present.”

This year’s United Nations theme, “75 years after Auschwitz -Holocaust Education and Remembrance for Global Justice” reminds us that an important aspect of remembrance and acknowledgment is a continued effort to develop an academic support system for those who work toward the prevention of genocide. In recognizing that genocide and human rights abuses are a universal concern, this year the Zoryan Institute will raise awareness through two major projects, Liberation75 and the annual Genocide and Human Rights University Program (GHRUP). As GHRUP Course Director, Professor Joyce Apsel, says,

"This educational initiative [the Genocide and Human Rights University Program] is a model creating a dynamic classroom laboratory for learning and dialogue about history and reconciliation and forming a community and network of committed, informed citizens and scholars worldwide.”

United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 declared that the United Nations would designate 27 January -- the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp -- as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and urged Member States to develop educational programmes to instil the memory of the tragedy in future generations to prevent genocide from occurring again.

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