World leaders mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day at U.N.

 Ron Prosor, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, speaks at the UN's International Holocaust Remembrance Day observance on Jan. 25, 2013. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas.

( World leaders and other dignitaries held a special ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the United Nations on Monday.

“The State of Israel is the only guarantee that the future and fate of the Jewish people will be held in our own hand,” Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor said.

Oscar-winning Jewish American film director Steven Spielberg, who directed the famed Holocaust film “Schindler’s List,” praised the importance of hearing Holocaust survivors’ stories.

“It is a great accomplishment of our species that the testimonies [of survivors] can be heard in the high chambers of society,” said Spielberg.

“Genocide is an evil,” he said. “But, the greatest evil is when people who have been spared the horrors commit themselves to despair. We know despair and remembering are a choice. But we need to confront and act on what we learned.”

In a video message, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon reflected on his first visit to Auschwitz last year.

“I will never forget my visit. I saw the horrific remnants of the machinery of genocide... The United Nations was founded to prevent any such horrors from happening ever again,” Ban said. 

Posted on January 27, 2014 .