The Holocaust is a crime that stands alone in human history for the scale of its horror and inhumanity. That is why it is crucial to ensure that this experience is never forgotten and that such atrocities never take place again.” – Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism
A Brief History of Canada and the Holocaust
While Canada did not directly experience the Holocaust, it was affected in many ways by the tragedy. Learn more about Canada’s history and response to the Holocaust.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27)
On January 27, 1945, the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp – where more than one million people were sent to gas chambers and to their agonizing deaths during the Holocaust – was liberated. In 2005, that day was designated as the annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Each year, Canadians and individuals all over the world take this opportunity to remember the victims of the atrocities of the Holocaust and reflect on the dangers of anti-Semitism.
In 2015, Canada and the international community marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. The Government of Canada commemorated this day at a special ceremony that brought together government officials, religious leaders and Holocaust survivors. Learn more about the 70th anniversary and what the world can learn from the Holocaust, in an effort to stay vigilant against such inhumanity now and in the future.
- Photo Gallery - Special commemoration ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau
- Watch the video: Auschwitz-Birkenau: 70 Years After Liberation… A Warning to Future Generations
- Read a statement by Minister Kenney on the 70th anniversary
- News Release - Minister Uppal marks the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau
Canada and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is an intergovernmental body made up of government officials and experts from 31 countries. It supports Holocaust education, remembrance and research in member countries and around the world. Canada chaired IHRA from March 2013 to March 2014.
- Learn more about our role
- Read a speech recognizing the Canadian Chair Year
- News Release — Canadian Chair Year of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Ends: Holocaust Awareness and the Fight Against Anti-Semitism Continue
Canadian Holocaust Resources
Canada has invested significantly in Holocaust education, remembrance and research.
For more information:
- Learn more about the Holocaust resources that are available to you
- News Release – Recognizing International Holocaust Remembrance Day
- Based on Lieut. H. Gordon Aikman, Canada. Dept. of National Defence, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1967-052 NPC, item 43534, PA-138238
- The MS St. Louis, Courtesy Eiran Harris collection, Canadian Jewish Congress Charities Committee, National Archives
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