"The German Government expressly welcomes the unanimous decision by the UN General Assembly to designate 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, an International Day of Commemoration to honour the victims of the Holocaust.

Remembering the Holocaust means not only to pay tribute to the victims but also to take to heart the lessons of the past.

For us Germans, the Holocaust crime continues to be the darkest chapter in our history and a source of particular responsibility. We can, must and will never shirk this responsibility.

Especially today, when a diminishing number of survivors can pass on their first-hand experiences of the Holocaust in person, it is particularly important to find new ways of keeping alive for future generations the memory of the most abominable crimes committed by the National Socialists. The education programmes envisaged in the resolution can make a valuable contribution towards this.

With the decision today to create a worldwide Holocaust Memorial Day, the international community has combined remembrance of the victims with a constant reminder that we must learn from history and ensure that such a crime is never allowed to happen again: every form of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and racism must be resolutely tackled."