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UN chief warns of rise of anti-Semitism on Auschwitz anniversary


New York, Jan. 27, 2020 (dpa/NAN) United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday warned of a global crisis of anti-Semitic hatred.

He said this when he spoke at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

“Our solidarity in the face of hatred is needed today more than ever, as we see a deeply worrying resurgence in anti-Semitic attacks around the world, and almost unbelievable, also around us here in New York,’’ Guterres said.

He cited a knife attack that left five people injured at a rabbi’s house in Monsey, New York, in December, and the killing of four people in a shooting at a Jewish supermarket in New Jersey a few weeks earlier.

New York saw a 21 per cent rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes in 2019, the secretary general said.

He added that there was a 74 per cent increase in anti-Semitic attacks in France in 2018 and a 16 per cent rise in the UK

“We need to name this phenomenon for what it is, there is a global crisis of anti-Semitic hatred.

“As we work to live up to the promise of ‘never again,’ we need to examine our own prejudices, guard against the misuse of our own technology, and be alert to any signs that hatred is being normalised,’’ the UN scribe said.

Guterres earlier lit a candle in memory of the victims of the Holocaust before welcoming an audience including survivors to the ceremony in the General Assembly hall.

Germany’s ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen, said he was ashamed that his countrymen had been responsible for the complete breakdown of civilisation and the barbaric descent into systematic murder.


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