International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust - Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian (27 January 2022)


On this International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, which commemorates the 77th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and has also become a day for remembrance of genocides and the prevention of crimes against humanity, France reiterates its commitment to the memory of the Holocaust never being concealed, distorted or forgotten.

The Nazi regime and its partners and collaborators, who participated in these unprecedented crimes in the history of mankind, tried systematically to exterminate the Jewish people and other groups because of their ethnic origin, beliefs or sexual orientation. Seven days ago, we commemorated the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, which planned this heinous crime and led to the deaths of six million Jews.

I pay tribute to the work of all organizations, particularly civil society organizations, to educate and pass on this history, when the number of survivors and witnesses is increasingly small. More than ever, we must promote this duty of remembrance, both individually and collectively, in an age when anti-Semitism is becoming ever more virulent and attacks on Jews and Holocaust denial are proliferating.

France, which since 2015 has adopted national plans to combat racism and anti-Semitism, takes action against all forms of anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination and against hate speech, online and offline. An anti-Semitic act is an act against the universality of human rights. We must therefore be uncompromising at national, European and international level to ensure respect for what underpins our societies: equality between women and men whatever their origins, skin colour, opinions or, of course, religions or beliefs.

We therefore encouraged the European Commission to adopt the first Strategy on combating anti-Semitism and fostering Jewish life in October 2021. We support the OSCE’s actions in combating anti-Semitism and intolerance and welcome the Polish presidency’s organization of the Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism in the OSCE Region, to be held on 7 and 8 February. We also welcome the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution on Holocaust denial on 20 January 2022. I would also like to pay tribute to the work of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) for its tireless work of research, education and transmission.

France calls on everyone to take part in this struggle to pass on the memory of the Holocaust and its victims to future generations.