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Secretary-General's Message

Jewish children perished in the Holocaust

One and a half million Jewish children perished in the Holocaust – victims
of persecution by the Nazis and their supporters.

Tens of thousands of other children were also murdered.  They included people with disabilities…  as well as Roma and Sinti.

All were victims of a hate-filled ideology that labelled them “inferior”. 

This year’s International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust is dedicated to the children – girls and boys who faced sheer terror and evil.

Many were orphaned by the war, or ripped away from their families.

Many died of starvation, disease or at the hands of their abusers.

We will never know what these children might have contributed to our world.

And among the survivors, many were too shattered to tell their stories.

Today, we seek to give voice to those accounts.

That is why the United Nations continues to teach the universal lessons of the Holocaust.

It is why we strive to promote children’s rights and aspirations – every day and everywhere.

And it is why we will continue to be inspired by the shining example of great humanitarians such as Raoul Wallenberg, in this, the centennial year of his birth. 

Today, as we remember all those lost during the Holocaust – young and old alike -- I call on all nations to protect the most vulnerable, regardless of race, colour, gender or religious beliefs.

Children are uniquely vulnerable to the worst of humankind.

We must show them the best this world has to offer.

Thank you.

H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon,
The Secretary-General of United Nations