Secretary of State emphasized the need to remember the victims of the Holocaust and fight racial hatred today
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made a video message on the occasion of the Holocaust and Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah).
Emphasizing the need to preserve the memory of the tragic events of the past, Blinken noted: “We remember not only what happened, but also how it was allowed to happen. We remember to observe the institutions and societies of which we are a part and understand what they did and what they didn’t do. We remember to learn. And we are learning not to repeat what happened. ”
The Secretary of State drew a parallel with modernity: “We live in an era when anti-Semitism is on the rise again – both in America and around the world. As always, hatred of Jews goes hand in hand with hatred of other groups, including LGBTQ + people, non-whites, people with disabilities, refugees. As hate ideologies gain popularity, violence soon erupts, as illustrated by the recent attacks on Asian Americans. A few weeks ago, the Director of National Intelligence released a report stating that the main threat to domestic violent extremism in America today is extremists motivated by racial or ethnic hatred. Not surprisingly, many of these extremists are Holocaust deniers. These things are interconnected. Therefore, we must remain vigilant. ”
Meanwhile, the annual March of the Living, held by Holocaust survivors and their relatives in the former Auschwitz concentration camp in southern Poland, is being held in virtual mode for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the limitations that do not allow the event to be held in the usual format, organizers and participants note how important it is to continue this tradition.
“We simply have no other choice,” said 84-year-old Zipora Freund, a Holocaust survivor. “This time everything is virtual, but every year people hold a march … Young people and old people walk together, showing that they will never forget about this tragedy.”
Freund and her son, who were in Israel, as well as Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and other participants in the virtual march, left digital messages on the train tracks leading to the gates of the concentration camp. This ritual is part of a computer simulation of the event.
More than 1.1 million people died in the Auschwitz death camp, which the Nazis built in occupied Poland during World War II. Most of them were Jews.
“We must remember that the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, hatred and racism still exist. It’s not just part of the story, ”says Baruch Adler, 70, co-founder and vice chairman of March of the Living. – The meaning is this: you need to know that you need to fight. This memory is part of the struggle. “