On 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, the world commemorates the victims of the Holocaust. For Switzerland, too, the international day of remembrance is an occasion to remember the horrors of the Holocaust and to increase awareness of the consequences of racism and discrimination. As a member of the intergovernmental organisation the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), Switzerland is committed to promoting education and teaching about the Holocaust to younger generations.
Switzerland commemorates the victims of the Holocaust
Six million European Jews, along with many Roma, Sinti and other minorities were killed by the National Socialist regime during the Second World War. Commemorating 27 January raises awareness of this tragedy and reminds us to remain vigilant, for even today racism, discrimination and anti-Semitism are an all too common reality.
Memorial ceremony in Auschwitz
In Auschwitz, the site of the largest Nazi death camp, a memorial ceremony for the victims is held every year on 27 January. This day also commemorates the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and death camp by the Red Army in 1945.
Switzerland was represented at the ceremony in Auschwitz by the president of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga.
Switzerland is a member of the IHRA
The IHRA was founded in 1998 to promote and advance Holocaust education, research and remembrance worldwide. Its 34 member countries work together to combat genocide, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
Switzerland has been a member of the IHRA since 2004 and assumed its chairmanship in 2017.
Présidence suisse de l’International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance en 2017, rapport, DFAE, 20.06.2018
Presidenza svizzera dell’International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance nel 2017, rapporto, DFAE, 20.06.2018
Speeches from Benno Bättig, future chair of the IHRA and FDFA secretary general, François Wisard, Head of History Unit of the FDFA and Prof. Ivan Lefkovits, Holocaust survivor and Editor of a series of Memoirs, Bern, 27.01.2017