Holocaust Memorial Day was created on 27 January 2000, when representatives from 46 governments around the world met in Stockholm to discuss Holocaust education, remembrance and research.
At the end of this meeting, all attendees signed a declaration committing to preserving the memory of those who have been murdered in the Holocaust.
This declaration became the statement of commitment which is still used as a basis for HMD activities today.
Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
- The Holocaust (Shoah) fundamentally challenged the foundations of civilization. The unprecedented character of the Holocaust will always hold universal meaning. After half a century, it remains an event close enough in time that survivors can still bear witness to the horrors that engulfed the Jewish people. The terrible suffering of the many millions of other victims of the Nazis has left an indelible scar across Europe as well.
- The magnitude of the Holocaust, planned and carried out by the Nazis, must be forever seared in our collective memory. The selfless sacrifices of those who defied the Nazis, and sometimes gave their own lives to protect or rescue the Holocaust's victims, must also be inscribed in our hearts. The depths of that horror, and the heights of their heroism, can be touchstones in our understanding of the human capacity for evil and for good.
- With humanity still scarred by genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, anti-semitism and xenophobia, the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils. Together we must uphold the terrible truth of the Holocaust against those who deny it. We must strengthen the moral commitment of our peoples, and the political commitment of our governments, to ensure that future generations can understand the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its consequences.
- We pledge to strengthen our efforts to promote education, remembrance and research about the Holocaust, both in those of our countries that have already done much and those that choose to join this effort.
- We share a commitment to encourage the study of the Holocaust in all its dimensions. We will promote education about the Holocaust in our schools and universities, in our communities and encourage it in other institutions.
- We share a commitment to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and to honour those who stood against it. We will encourage appropriate forms of Holocaust remembrance, including an annual Day of Holocaust Remembrance, in our countries.
- We share a commitment to throw light on the still obscured shadows of the Holocaust. We will take all necessary steps to facilitate the opening of archives in order to ensure that all documents bearing on the Holocaust are available to researchers.
It is appropriate that this, the first major international conference of the new millennium, declares its commitment to plant the seeds of a better future amidst the soil of a bitter past. We empathize with the victims' suffering and draw inspiration from their struggle. Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.
Statement of Commitment
The statement of commitment for HMD in the UK was created after the Stockholm Declaration was agreed. It is a simplified version of the Stockholm Declaration, and includes a commitment to remember all victims of Nazi Persecution, and victims of all genocides. Many HMD activity organisers use this by arranging for participants to read from as part of their activity.
You can download copies of the statement of commitment from our website in Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Gaelic, Gujurati, Hebrew, Polish, Urdu, Welsh and Yiddish.
- we recognise that the Holocaust shook the foundations of modern civilisation. Its unprecedented character and horror will always hold universal meaning
- we believe the Holocaust must have a permanent place in our nation’s collective memory. We honour the survivors still with us, and reaffirm our shared goals of mutual understanding and justice
- we must make sure that future generations understand the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its consequences. We vow to remember the victims of Nazi persecution and of all genocides
- we value the sacrifices of those who have risked their lives to protect or rescue victims, as a touchstone of the human capacity for good in the face of evil
- we recognise that humanity is still scarred by the belief that race, religion, disability or sexuality make some people’s lives worth less than others’. Genocide, anti-semitism, racism, xenophobia and discrimination still continue. We have a shared responsibility to fight these evils
- we pledge to strengthen our efforts to promote education and research about the Holocaust and other genocides. We will do our utmost to make sure that the lessons of such events are fully learnt
- we will continue to encourage Holocaust remembrance by holding an annual UK Holocaust Memorial Day. We condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism. We value a free, respectful, and democratic society
Statement of Commitment in alternative languages
IHRA is an intergovernmental body whose purpose is to place political and social leaders’ support behind the need for Holocaust education, remembrance and research both nationally and internationally. Sir Eric Pickles is the United Kingdom Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues, and leads the UK delegation to IHRA, which HMDT is proud to be a part of.
The Outreach Programme was created in 2005 at the request of the United Nations General Assembly to remind the world of the lessons to be learnt from the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide.
Based in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem is the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust and the world centre for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust.
The USHMM is one of the largest and most respected Holocaust memorial museums in the world.
Inspired by his experience making the film Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg established the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation in 1994 to gather video testimonies from survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. The collection is now in the care of the University of Southern California.
Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House brings Anne Frank’s story to the attention of people all over the world; encouraging them to reflect on the dangers of antisemitism, racism and discrimination and the importance of freedom, equal rights and democracy. Their website contains free online resources.