Cyprus on Thursday observed Holocaust Remembrance Day which this year marked 77 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by Allied forces. President Nicos Anastasiades tweeted: “We will always honour the millions of dead of a criminal regime. It is our duty to never forget. To remember in order to stay alive and remain free.”
It was also announced that Cyprus had officially joined the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) as an observer member.
In a statement the foreign ministry said that policies include the adoption of the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism and the provision of teacher training in collaboration with Yad Vashem, incorporating valuable lessons into the education system.
“Remembering the horrors of the Holocaust and preserving its memory, the international community reaffirms its collective duty to prevent the recurrence of such heinous crimes and to work tirelessly against denial and oblivion,” it said.
The ministry noted that Cyprus, as a place of detention for more than 50,000 Holocaust survivors, was a temporary but safe haven immediately after the end of World War II.
“The horror of the Holocaust thus left an indelible mark on the collective consciousness of the island,” it added.
“International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day of remembrance and reflection for the international community for the millions of Jews, hundreds of Roma, and others who were brutally victimised by Nazi atrocities due to their religion and ethnicity,” the statement said. “It was a brutality that has indelibly tarnished the history of mankind.”