Message on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day
In 2005, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared January 27 as the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust. On this day in 1945, the German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, where more than a million people died, was liberated.
Presidential Palace, 27 Jan 2024
This year marks 79 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, where more than one million people died in unimaginable conditions. Since 2005, this day is designated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the victims of the Holocaust: the more than six million Jews killed and the survivors who were scarred for life. Innocent people who did not want war and did not want anyone to die, but who were nevertheless cut down by the dagger of hatred directed also towards other groups of people.
10 December last year marked three quarters of a century since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – a legal holy grail that would protect people and their dignity from the atrocities committed until then. Yet the world is currently witnessing the most conflicts since World War II. It is unacceptable and unfair that innocent people, who only want peace, continue to suffer the most from these conflicts. Such trampling on humanity and blatant disregard for humanitarian law is also deeply disrespectful to all the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and wars, whose message is simple and clear: never again war.
I will always believe that there are more good people in the world than those who spread evil among us in different ways. That there are more of us who believe in human freedom, mutual respect, human dignity, the rule of law and human rights, and democracy.
Our guiding principle in doing so should be the wise words of Anne Frank, who wrote, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
The Diary of Anne Frank as a reminder of a terrible history
On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the President of the Republic of Slovenia Nataša Pirc Musar and her spouse will attend a performance of The Diary of Anne Frank, directed and dramatised by Vinko Möderndorfer, renowned Slovene writer, poet, playwright and essayist.
Vinko Möderndorfer sees The Diary of Anne Frank as one of the most important texts of the 20th century as well as an extremely relevant work. He stressed that even today, young and talented people are living on the brink of life and death.
The diary of a young girl who spent two years in hiding and eventually died a horrific death as a result of betrayal reminds us where nationalisms can lead. In particular younger generations should be more aware of this.
Somewhere in her diary, Anne writes: "It makes me sick to think that all those who were so close to me, my classmates, are now at the mercy of the worst rabble that ever existed. Why? Because we are different? Are we really different? Because we are all human. People who feel pain, fear, love... I don't understand, I really don't understand. What happened to the people?!"
And, as Möderndorfer concludes, we need to question this also today.
Today, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, the Honour Guard of the Slovenian Army laid a wreath to the monument to the victims of Nazi-fascist violence at the Jewish cemetery in the village of Dolga near Lendava, which is the largest cemetery of its kind in Slovenia and is hence protected as a monument. During the Second World War, the Jewish community was the most numerous precisely in the area of Lendava and Murska Sobota, but as a result of the Holocaust, it virtually disappeared.