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UN Marks Auschwitz Anniversary

United Nations, 24 January 2005 -- The UN General Assembly has begun a special session marking the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp with a call for renewed vigilance against hateful ideologies.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged the world to be on the watch for a revival of anti-Semitism and other ideologies based on hate and exclusion.

He said the mass abuses of human rights in Sudan's Darfur region, for example, pose an immediate challenge to the UN Security Council to act.

"We rightly say, 'never again' but action is much harder," Annan said. "Since the Holocaust the world has, to its shame, failed more than once to prevent or halt genocide -- for instance in Cambodia, in Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia."

Dozens of top government officials were addressing the session.

Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel told the session that the evils of Auschwitz, the largest Nazi death camp, continue to defy "language and understanding." Wiesel said it remains incomprehensible that a modern, educated, nation such as Germany could be capable of setting up camps where 6 million Jews died.