This year's observance of the International Remembrance Day on Jan. 27 — the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp — fell at a time when there are reminders all around us of the dangers of forgetting.

This year marks two decades since the genocide in Rwanda. Conflicts in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic have taken on dangerous communal dimensions. Bigotry still courses through our societies and our politics. The world can and must do more to eliminate the poison that led to the camps.

I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau last November. A chill wind was blowing that day; the ground was rocky underfoot. But I had an overcoat and sturdy shoes; my thoughts went to those who had had neither: the Jews and other prisoners who once populated the camp.