“We should reaffirm today that
never again will we be indifferent to
racism and hate; that never again
will we be silent in the face of evil;
that never again will we ignore
the plight of the vulnerable;
that never again will we acquiesce
in the face of mass atrocity and
impunity. We will speak and we
will act against racism, against hate,
against anti-Semitism, against
mass atrocity, against injustice
—and against the crime whose name
we should shudder even to mention:
May this day be not only an act of
remembrance, which it is,
but a reminder to act, which it
~ The Hon. Irwin Cotler ~
The Holocaust was one of the most horrifying and shameful periods
in the history of humankind wherein the Jews as a people were
systematically persecuted and murdered by the Nazis under Adolf
Hitler, resulting in the death of six million of them, from 1941 to
1945. The Nazis believed that the German race was a superior one, and
they deemed the Jews as inferior, and a threat to the racial purity of
the Germans. They came up with a dastardly plan, known as the ‘final
solution’, wherein they incarcerated millions of Jews in concentration
camps, where they lived and died in inhuman conditions.
from the Jews, the Nazis also targeted other ethnic groups because
they thought them to be racially inferior too, such as the Roma
Gypsies, physically and mentally disabled people living in
institutions, Slavic people like the Russians, Poles, and so on. Some
others were also subjected to persecution on the basis of their
behavioral, ideological, and political backgrounds, such as
homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Socialists, and Communists. However,
it was the Jews that were the primary victims of the Nazis, and the
Holocaust is associated with just their plight by many scholars.
This kind of mindless inhumanity is recurring again with the
ugly events all over the world. From Syria and Iraq to Libya and
Yemen, the cultural and religious fabric in the Middle East,
intricately woven over centuries, is being torn apart by Islamic
fanatics intent on eliminating the very diversity that had given rise
to many of the world’s great civilizations. We decry the intolerance,
violent extremism and religious and ethnic persecution that have
gained ground in the Middle East, notably against Christians, Yezidis,
Kurds, Turkmens, Shabaks, and Jews. It appears that another genocide
Holocaust Remembrance Day is an important time
to reflect upon a tragedy that is at once entirely singular, and yet
also indicative of mankind’s lasting capacity for extreme cruelty.
Preventing racism, hatred, war, and genocide are ongoing projects for
the world. Remembering the Holocaust is essential in 2017, as we in
the United States and around the world work to build societies that
are more tolerant, more peaceful, and free.
ACT for America · 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 190,
#614, Washington, DC 20004, United States
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