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Lesson of the Holocaust needs to be shared

Education is needed to raise people's awareness of the Holocaust to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, says Swiss president Hans-Rudolf Merz.

In a message issued to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust on Tuesday, he said the world needed to gain greater knowledge of the past and reflect on the lessons that can be learned.

Large-scale acts of violence continue to create suffering throughout the world, he said.

"We therefore need to dedicate time to ensuring that knowledge of this stain in the history of our continent and our civilisation is passed on to younger generations," he said.

Merz noted that Swiss attributes of prosperity, security, diversity, progress and solidarity had been gained through constant effort and at the same time reflected a rejection of totalitarianism.

Soldarity was of particular importance and needed to remain a living tradition in Switzerland, he said, adding that "preparing for the future means taking steps today to prevent the crimes that have all too often devastated humanity".

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon observed on Tuesday: "Today, we remember the millions of victims of the Nazis - nearly one third of the Jewish people and countless other minorities - who suffered atrocious acts of discrimination, deprivation, cruelty and murder."

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