(JNS.org) World leaders, Holocaust survivors and religious leaders came together on Sunday to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a clear link to Iran’s nuclear efforts and the Nazis’ efforts to annihilate the Jews.
“Anti-Semitism has not disappeared and — to our regret — neither has the desire to destroy a considerable part of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. They exist and they are strong,” Netanyahu said, the Times of Israel reported.
Jan. 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945 and was designated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2005 by the United Nations.
From the Vatican, Pope Benedict II warned against the horrors of the Holocaust being committed again.
“The memory of this immense tragedy, which above all struck so harshly the Jewish people, must represent for everyone a constant warning so that the horrors of the past are not repeated,” said the Pope, the Associated Press reported.
The U.S. also reaffirmed a commitment to preventing the Holocaust’s recurrence.
“The United States, along with the international community, resolves to stand in the way of any tyrant or dictator who commits crimes against humanity, and stay true to the principle of ‘Never Again,’” President Barack Obama said in a statement.
Not all leaders steered clear of controversy on the solemn day. Former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi, who is seeking office again with an alliance of far-right Italian politicians, caused outrage over comments defending Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini at a Holocaust ceremony, Reuters reported.
At Yad Vashem—Israel’s Holocaust Museum—a special memorial was put on display that features personal Holocaust-related items gathered from survivors or their descendants.
“Through these examples, we have tried to bring to light items whose stories both explain the individual story and provide testimony to join the array of personal accounts that make up the narrative of the Holocaust,” Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said in a press release.