International Holocaust Remembrance Day

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jan 11, 2023, 15:03

International Holocaust Remembrance Day (also called Yom HaShoah in Jewish) is a day observed on 27 January in memory of the millions of Jews that were murdered by the Nazis. International Holocaust Remembrance Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005.

This day is observed all around the world to mourn and remember those who fell victim to the holocaust. We have shared more information about International Holocaust Remembrance Day, its history, theme, and significance here.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day - Overview

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is about remembering the six million Jews that were captured and killed by the Nazis. This day is also about educating people about genocide and its history in Nazi Germany so that history doesn’t repeat itself. Holocaust Remembrance Day was an initiative of Silvan Shalom, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel.

Many countries around the world observe their own Holocaust Memorial Days but International Holocaust Remembrance Day is officially recognized by the United Nations.


International Holocaust Remembrance Day


27 January (annually)

Established By

United Nations

Observed In



To keep the six million Jews that were murdered by the Nazis in memory and educate people about the horrors of genocide.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023 Theme

The theme of International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023 is “Ordinary People”. This theme aims to point out the fact that it was “ordinary people” who let the mass killings of Jews happen in Nazi Germany. The theme aims to educate people on how remaining silent as an ordinary observer in the wake of crime happening around you makes you as guilty as the actual murderers.

Previous Year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day Themes

Here, we have shared the last five year’s themes of International Holocaust Remembrance Day:

2022 - “Memory, Dignity and Justice”

2021 - "Remembrance and Beyond"

2020 - “Say No to Antisemitism”

2019 - "A story of humanity: the rescue of Jews in Albania"

2018 - “Holocaust Remembrance and Education: Our Shared Responsibility”

Holocaust Day - History

The history of International Holocaust Remembrance Day can be traced to 1 November 2005. On that day, the United Nations passed a Resolution to observe the day in memory and remembrance of the millions of Jews, and other minorities who were murdered by the Nazis. Here is more about the history of Holocaust Day -

  • On 24 January 2005, the 60th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust and liberation of the Nazi concentration camps was marked.
  • Consequently, Silvan Shalom, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel conceived the idea for Holocaust Remembrance Day.
  • As a Head of the Delegation of Israel, Shalom proposed the idea of Holocaust Memorial Day to the United Nations.
  • On 1 November 2005, the United Nations officially passed Resolution 60/7 and announced the day.

International Holocaust Day - Significance

International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust is an extremely important day to educate people on the events that occurred in Nazi Germany. At least half of the Jewish population was wiped out by the Nazis, and people from other minorities were also captured and killed.

Although the memories of the Holocaust are painful, it is important to remember it on International Holocaust Day. This is to educate people and prevent the chances of future genocides or other acts of hatred. Here is why it is significant to observe this day.

  • Holocaust Remembrance Day reminds people of what can be the result of hatred towards people of other ethnicities, races, or religious opinions.
  • This day condemns harassment and intolerance towards people of different identities from yours.
  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day revisits the gruesome acts that the Nazis conducted.
  • This day is about educating people about the concentration camps and forced labour camps that the Nazis built.
  • Most importantly, International Holocaust Day is also about remembering those who lost their lives as victims and the Red Army, who were the liberators of those victims.

Holocaust Remembrance Day - Commemoration Activities

A number of events take place on International Holocaust Day. Some of the commemoration activities that take place outside the United Nations on this day include the following -

  • In Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, many public events take place to commemorate the holocaust victims.
  • Events take place in United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on this day.
  • In Austria, the commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day takes place with a large participation from civil society.
  • In Israel, Holocaust Remembrance Day is known as Yom HaShoah. People from the Ministry present an annual report on cases of antisemitism on this day.

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FAQs on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Q1. What is International Holocaust Remembrance Day?

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day dedicated to remembering the victims of the Holocaust. In Nazi Germany, six million Jews, and members from other minorities were murdered based on religious and racial differences. Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the liberation of the holocaust victims.

Q2. When is International Holocaust Remembrance Day celebrated?

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is celebrated annually on 27 January. This day was established on 1 November 2005 by a Resolution passed by the United Nations on the same day. Since then, 27 January is marked as an International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Q3. What is the theme of International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023?

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023 theme is “Ordinary People”. This important theme highlights the fact that ordinary people like any of us were responsible for the millions of deaths in Nazi Germany. This theme reminds us that by remaining silent despite the horrors going on around them, the “ordinary people” were an accomplice to the Nazis.

Q4. Who established International Holocaust Remembrance Day?

The United Nations established the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Silvan Shalom, the official Head Delegate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel to the United Nations conceived the idea for International Holocaust Remebrance Day.

Q5. What is the difference between Yom Hashoah and International Holocaust Remembrance Day?

Yom HaShoah is the Jewish term for International Holocaust Remebrance Day. People in the State of Israel observe the Holocaust Remebrance Day as Yom HaShoah. On this day, many events commemorating the Holocaust victims are organized and a report on antisemitism is also published.