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Holocaust Museum Marks 20 Years as America's 'Conscience'

Former President Bill Clinton and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel participate in an event for the 20th anniversary of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, April 29, 2013.
The United States marked the 20th anniversary of the nation's Holocaust Museum, with leaders promising to heed the lessons of one of the worst genocides in recorded history.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton helped preside over the museum's opening in Washington and said it remains a powerful symbol in a city full of impressive monuments.

"They all give something to our country and to visitors from throughout the world who come here. But the Holocaust memorial will be our conscience and will be here as our conscience from now forever," said Clinton.

Clinton also said the lessons of the Holocaust are as relevant as ever.

"The historic slaughter and slaughter of the Holocaust reflects a human disease that takes different forms, the idea that our differences are more important than our common humanity," said Clinton.

The anniversary ceremony also brought together 1,000 Holocaust survivors and World War Two veterans, including survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel.

Wiesel said the museum allows visitors to hear "voices that are appeals not only to hope but also to generosity in our lives."

The Holocaust refers to the state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime in Germany and its collaborators.

Since the museum opened in 1993, it has welcomed more than 34 million visitors, including more than 100 heads of state and 10 million students.

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