Today is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day -- the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945. On this annual day of commemoration, the United Nations urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and also to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.
This week, to recognize this important international commemoration, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson participated in a wreath laying ceremony and delivered remarks at Warsaw Ghetto Heroes Monument. This memorial is the site of the April to May 1943 Jewish Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, during which thousands of Jewish people were killed and deported.
“Auschwitz-Birkenau was a place of unimaginable horror and tragedy...but we must remember what happened there and in similar camps under the Nazi reign of terror. We acknowledge the many survivors, the loved ones, the friends of those who walk in grief today, and we walk along their side, holding them up with our prayers and our support at their time of remembrance. We also honor the many heroic actions taken by those who gave shelter to the many who were condemned and risked – put themselves at risk in doing so.”
– Secretary Tillerson
During his remarks, Secretary Tillerson said, “On this occasion, it reminds us that we can never – we can never – be indifferent to the face of evil. The Western alliance which emerged from World War II has committed itself to ensuring the security of all that this would never happen again.”
As we mark this solemn day, we are reminded that it should be a day of both action and reflection. As Secretary Tillerson urged in Poland today, we must not be passive in confronting the threats to human life. On this day, we must remember the millions of victims of the Holocaust; and as we honor their memories, we must recommit ourselves to fulfilling the promise of “never again.”
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