US President Barack Obama marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January by repeating the words of US Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds who, when taken prisoner during the Second World War, told his German captors: "We are all Jews."

The US leader also encouraged his audience to fight what he said is a rising tide of anti-Semitism around the world. Obama made his comments at the Righteous Among the Nations Award Ceremony at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC.

Obama said: "When any Jew anywhere is targeted just for being Jewish, we all have to respond as Roddie Edmonds did. We are all Jews. We know we will never be able to wipe out hatred from every single mind. We won't entirely erase the scourge of anti-Semitism. But like the righteous we must do everything we can. All of us have a responsibility.

"When Israel faces terrorists we stand up forcefully and proudly in defence of our ally. Defence of our friend, in defence of the Jewish state of Israel. America's commitment to Israeli security remains now and forever unshakable. And I've said this before. It would be a fundamental moral failing if America broke that bond."

The remembrance comes as German police arrested two people in raids against a far-right group suspected of using an Internet portal to incite violence against foreigners, spread Nazi propaganda and deny the Holocaust, the public prosecutor general said.