Remembrance Day For The Victims Of National Socialism

In Germany, January 27th is celebrated annually as Remembrance Day for the Victims of National Socialism, and it has been for over 26 years. This is a day when the deaths of all victims of National Socialism are remembered.

This includes the 7.4 million victims of Nazi genocide and reprisals, the 4.1 million famine and disease deaths, and the 2.2 million deaths of persons deported to Germany to work as forced laborers.

For years following the end of WWII, there was an ongoing debate over the appropriate way to remember all those who died at the hands of the Nazis. This remembrance day is the fruit of those discussions.

The History Of Remembrance Day For The Victims Of National Socialism

On January 27th, 1945, the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by Soviet forces. Exactly 51 years later, German President Roman Herzog declared January 27th a national day of remembrance for the victims of the Nazi genocide.

Every year since, this day has been observed through official ceremonies held all across Germany, as well as special remembrances held at the Bundestag.

Facts About The Holocaust

The Holocaust was not only one of the most tragic and horrible series of events to occur during the 20th century, but it was also a defining moment in history for all of humanity. To prevent such atrocities from happening again in the future, it’s important to remember the past. That’s why we think the following facts about the Holocaust are important to know as Remembrance Day for the Victims of National Socialism approaches.

  • Many Holocaust survivors were able to escape by hiding in ethnic ghettos or by fleeing to other parts of the world.
  • Of the 6 million Jewish people who were murdered during the Holocaust, approximately 1.5 million of them were children.
  • Some of the earliest victims of Nazi mass murder were people with disabilities.
  • It’s been estimated that only about 10% of the Germans who worked at Auschwitz were ever put on trial.
  • Nazi is short for “National Socialist German Workers’ Party.” However, the Nazis weren’t supportive of workers or even socialists.
  • The Nazis used the term “socialist” and the word “worker” in their name because they felt they would get a broader segment of the German population to support them.

Observing Remembrance Day For The Victims Of National Socialism

Not only are special services held in the Bundestag, but also at events all across Germany. In the past, these events have included readings by living Holocaust victims and other people who witnessed the atrocities committed by the Nazis. This is also a day for wreath-laying ceremonies at the memorials and graves of Holocaust victims.

Where is it celebrated?
Germany (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
January 27 Saturday
Next year (2025)
January 27 Monday
Last year (2023)
January 27 Friday