Azerbaijan to Officially Mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day for First Time
December 19, 2021
Azerbaijan will officially mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day for the first time this year, The Jerusalem Post reported last week.
This move will make Azerbaijan one of only several Muslim-majority nations to observe the commemoration, held annually on January 27th, the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.
The decision was reportedly announced at a Baku meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and New York-based Rabbi Marc Schneier, President of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.
“By joining the nations of the world participating in this solemn day of remembrance, Azerbaijan will be taking a concrete political action to raise awareness about the dangers of extremism and intolerance, discrimination and hate,” Rabbi Schneier wrote. “For there is no better way to ensure we ‘never forget,’ as the mantra dictates, than by actively remembering and aggressively educating.”
President Aliyev was also said to have committed to provide funding to Ohr Avner Chabad school in Baku that had been facing a budget shortfall.
Azerbaijan has long been a hospitable home to a small, but diverse and well-integrated, Jewish community, and in recent decades, since its restoration of independence after the fall of the Soviet Union, it had developed a close alliance — including extensive economic and military ties — with the State of Israel.