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U.N. adopts resolution to fight Holocaust denial

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U.N. adopts resolution to fight Holocaust denial
The train track that carried Jews to their death at the entrance of the Nazi Germany Birkenau Concentration - Extermination Camp in Oswiecim, Poland. On Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to combat the denial of the Holocaust.File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution proposed by both Israel and Germany to combat the denial of the Holocaust.

The assembly of 193 nations on Thursday adopted by consensus the resolution that "rejects and condemns without any reservation" any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event while urging member states to develop education programs to instill lessons of the Holocaust into future generations to prevent further genocides.

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It also defines Holocaust denial as: intentional efforts to excuse or minimize the impact of the Holocaust, gross minimization of the number of the victims of the Holocaust, attempts to blame the Jews for causing their own genocide, statements that cast the Holocaust as a positive historical event and attempts to blur the responsibility for the establishment of concentration and death camps devised and operated by Nazi Germany by putting blame on other nations or ethnic groups.

"History!" Gilad Erdan, Israel's ambassador to the U.N. and the grandson of a Holocaust victim, cheered on Twitter after its adoption. "This is a huge victory over Holocaust deniers like Iran & its leaders for Jews, for Israel & our ancestors!"

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The resolution also calls on social media companies to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial online as it notes the growing prevalence of such hate spreading through the use of information and communication technologies.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid celebrated the resolution's adoption in a joint statement, saying it shows that Holocaust denial is a topic on which the entire international community "stands together and speaks with one voice."

"We carry an obligation to remember, to learn and to challenge the growth of Holocaust revisionism, denial and distortion both on and offline," they said. "This resolution calls on member states, U.N. agencies and also private sector actors such as technology companies, to take active measures against the disturbing trend of Holocaust denial and distortion and to foster education, research and Holocaust remembrance."

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Prior to the adoption Gilad warned while introducing the resolution Thursday that the world currently exists "in an era in which fiction is now becoming fact, and the Holocaust is becoming a distant memory."

"Holocaust denial has spread like a cancer, it has spread under our watch," he said.

On Twitter, he said the resolution "protects our history while defending our future."

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"We can never let down our guard in the face of increasing attempts to deny, distort or minimize the Holocaust," U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said.

The resolution was passed on the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin when 15 Nazi Party and German movement officials planned the Holocaust, which was the mass systematic murder of some 6 million of Europe's Jews.

"Passed on the 80th anniversary of the infamous Nazi Wannsee laying out the Final Solution, it's an important declaration against Holocaust denial & distortion," the Anti-Defamation League, which seeks to stop the defamation of Jewish people, said in a statement.

Iran was the only member state to disassociate itself from the resolution.

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