After Last Year's Omission, White House Mentions Jews in Holocaust Remembrance Day Statement

In a statement marking 73 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, the White House said the world 'must protect the fundamental rights and inherent dignity of every human being'

File: The entrance to the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz in Oswiecim, Poland.
Reuters

WASHINGTON – The White House published Friday a presidential message ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be commemorated this weekend. The message included a clear reference to the victims of the Holocaust, including six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis. This, in contrast to the White House's statement on last year's International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which came under sharp criticism for omitting any reference to the Jewish people or anti-Semitism.

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This year's statement opens with the following paragraph: "Tomorrow marks the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi death and concentration camp in Poland.  We take this opportunity to recall the Nazis’ systematic persecution and brutal murder of six million Jewish people. In their death camps and under their inhuman rule, the Nazis also enslaved and killed millions of Slavs, Roma, gays, people with disabilities, priests and religious leaders, and others who courageously opposed their brutal regime."

It goes on to state that "our Nation is indebted to the Holocaust’s survivors. Despite the trauma they carry with them, they continue to educate us by sharing their experiences, strength, wisdom, and generosity of spirit to advance respect for human rights. Although they are aging and their numbers are slowly dwindling, their stories remain with us, giving us the strength to combat intolerance, including anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry and discrimination."

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This year's statement also says that "every generation must learn and apply the lessons of the Holocaust to prevent new horrors against humanity from occurring. As I have said: “We will stamp out prejudice. We will condemn hatred. We will bear witness, and we will act.” In this spirit, we must join together across our nations and with people of goodwill around the world to eliminate prejudice and promote more just societies.  We must remain vigilant to protect the fundamental rights and inherent dignity of every human being. On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we acknowledge this dark stain on human history and vow to never let it happen again."