Holocaust Remembrance Day: Germany recalls ‘Nazi horror’, Scholz warns ‘never again’

Germany marked the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Saturday (Jan 27) as the country held various commemorative events and wreath-laying ceremonies.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in his weekly podcast, appealed to the country’s citizens to save democracy and fight against antisemitism as the nation marked the 79th anniversary of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau’s liberation during World War II.

Since 1996 Berlin has been marking January 27 as a day when the country remembers the horrors of the Holocaust.

In the weekly podcast on Saturday (Jan 27), Scholz said, “Never again’ is every day. January 27 calls out to us: Stay visible! Stay audible! Against antisemitism, against racism, against hatred — and for our democracy.”

The flags were flown at half-mast over all the federal government buildings as per the orders of Germany’s Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser.

Citizens on Saturday (Jan 27) placed flowers at the memorials for the victims of the Holocaust and lit candles, as the German chancellor said that they will continue to carry the responsibility for this “crime against humanity.”

Scholz warns against ‘neo-Nazis’, praises pro-democracy protests

He emphasised that the fight for democracy and against any kind of antisemitism cannot be done only by the government, but requires the support of all Germans.

“Never again” demands the vigilance of everyone. Our democracy is not God-given. It is man-made,” said Scholz. “It is strong when we support it. And it needs us when it is under attack,” he added.

Meanwhile, the German chancellor warned against “neo-Nazis and their dark networks” and praised people for joining pro-democracy protests.

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“New reports are emerging all the time: about neo-Nazis and their dark networks. At the same time, right-wing populists are gaining ground, fuelling fear and sowing hatred.” But this development is not something we simply have to accept,” said Scholz.

“Our country is on its feet right now. Millions of citizens are taking to the streets in favour of democracy, respect and humanity for one another. After all, that’s what it’s all about. It is the cohesion of democrats that makes our democracy strong. Showing it confidently in public – as is happening now – feels good,” he added.

Nazi death camp survivors mark Holocaust

Meanwhile, a group of 20 Nazi death camp survivors marked the Holocaust Remembrance Day by laying wreaths at the Death Wall in Auschwitz and holding prayers at the monument in Birkenau.

The event will memorialise nearly 1.1 million camp victims, which were mostly Jews. The museum and memorial site of the Auschwitz death camp are located near the city of Oswiecim.

(With inputs from agencies)

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