To the participants and guests of the Yellow Stars concert in memory of Holocaust victims and dedicated to the 73rd anniversary of liberating the Auschwitz (Oswiecim) concentration camp by the Red Army

The Yellow Stars memorial event takes place in Moscow on 22 January.

Dear veterans and friends,

27 January will mark the 73rd anniversary of liberating Auschwitz, and International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today you have come to this memorial concert to pay tribute to the memory of those who were killed by the Nazis, went through the inferno of the concentration camps or died during World War II.

Holocaust is not only the Jewish people’s tragedy but an enduring pain of all humankind, which cannot be healed and which must never be forgotten. It is one of Nazism’s gravest crimes, and six million innocent people fell victim to it. The work carried out by Jewish public organisations in order to preserve the truth of those terrible pages of history deserve our deepest respect.

Today, maybe more than ever before, it is crucial to tell this truth to the people who have never known war. They must understand the threat to the present-day world from anti-Semitism, xenophobia and incitement to national enmity and hatred. Sadly, we are witnessing new tragedies resulting from extremism and terrorism. They are based on the same misanthropic ideology and are no less dangerous than Nazism.

Major of the Soviet Army Anatoly Shapiro, who was one of those who liberated Aushwitz-Birkenau, said, “I want to tell people all over the world: join efforts and prevent the evil which we suffered.  People, preserve life on Earth!”

Decades later, we continue to view the Holocaust as a global catastrophe. This is why today it is so important to oppose those who try to present murderers and butchers as heroes.

We know and preserve the truth about the victims of Nazism and their liberators. We remember their heroic deeds. We will do everything to prevent time from making people indifferent to tragedies of the past. Only in this way can we prevent their repetition. It is our mission to defend peace and freedom. All of us together bear this responsibility towards future generations.

I wish to all of you who came to this memorial event peace, welfare and all the best.

Dmitry Medvedev