NEW YORK – To commemorate the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) has drawn global attention to the importance of education through its annual #WeRemember Campaign, timed to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.
This year’s initiative, which featured a social media campaign as well as the illumination of monuments and landmarks around the globe, carried heightened significance as antisemitism, sometimes violent in nature, continues to surge, particularly in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
WJC conceived the #WeRemember initiative nearly a decade ago and has developed the campaign in partnership with its affiliated communities and leading organizations, including UNESCO, the European Commission, and others.
“Holocaust education is critical in confronting the darkness of ignorance and intolerance,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. “It is our collective obligation to honor the memory of the six million Jewish lives lost and fight back against the rising hatred of today.”
From Jan. 20 to Jan. 27, individuals and leaders of governments, political institutions, sports clubs, and other groups shared images of themselves holding a sign with the words “We Remember” and used the hashtag #WeRemember, to amplify both Holocaust survivor stories and Holocaust education as tools to fight hate.
To support the campaign, social media companies undertook an expanded effort to direct users to www.aboutholocaust.org, created by the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO to provide essential information about the history of the Holocaust and its legacy. Millions of people have already accessed the site via TikTok and Facebook, with TikTok launching a dedicated hub for Holocaust education within the app.
Integral to the initiative were illuminated landmarks around the world, bathed in yellow light or the campaign’s #WeRemember slogan. Monuments and significant sites embraced the message of the campaign in a display of solidarity with the Jewish people and the six million victims of the Holocaust.
In Germany, the Bundestag, Bundesrat, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other government buildings were illuminated. New York City Hall, and municipal buildings in each of the five boroughs, took part as well. Across Canada, dozens of locations either have or will be cast in yellow light. The Israeli Knesset and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem amplified the #WeRemember message on Sunday, following an illumination of Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Center earlier in the week. The parliament buildings in Austria, Italy and Greece also participated. Additional locations included Geneva’s Jet d’Eau, Stockholm’s Synagogue, and Prague’s Cathedral, among others. The European Parliament and Council of Europe each had #WeRemember banners at their respective entrances.
Images of participation in the online campaign were displayed on Jan. 26-27 at Auschwitz-Birkenau to commemorate the liberation of the concentration camp and to raise awareness of the dangers of antisemitism, genocide, hatred and xenophobia.
Additional locations around the world continued to participate in this uniquely global effort with Germany's Bundestag holding an official state ceremony on Tuesday.
“By understanding the suffering and perseverance of the Jewish people during one of history's darkest periods, we can foster a more inclusive and tolerant world,” Amb. Lauder also said.
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