Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier today (26 January) issued the following statement in Berlin to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January:
"For us Germans the Holocaust will remain forever part of our history. We have a responsibility and a duty to take its lessons to heart.
At yesterday's act of remembrance in the German Bundestag actress Angela Winkler read out a speech by Czech author Lenka Reinerová giving a moving account of the crimes of the National Socialists and their cold-blooded and systematic campaign of liquidation. Her account and the reports of other victims of National Socialism spell out a clear message: it is our duty as Germans to keep alive the memory of the genocide committed by our compatriots and to take a strong stand against anti-Semitism and racial hatred wherever we encounter them. We Germans have a mission and an obligation to exercise the utmost vigilance and ensure such horrors can never happen again.
That is why Germany has worked hard and with due success for the Permanent Office of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research to be located in Berlin. This serves to highlight an important message: Holocaust remembrance is an abiding and universal obligation and the lessons to be learned from it are valid for all time."
The Holocaust Task Force with currently 25 member countries seeks to ensure that the crimes of National Socialism and the memory of its victims remain inscribed in the collective consciousness of humanity.