Sunday, January 27, 2013

Statement By President Obama Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 2013

"Never Again, Never Again"...
The United Nations General Assembly has designated January 27th, the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and charged every member state with the "obligation to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides." President Obama on Sunday issued a statement marking the day in memory of the more than 6 million Jews and millions of other innocent victims murdered by the Third Reich.  (Above, in 2009, the President placed a white rose in a crematorium at Buchenwald concentration camp, joined by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and camp survivors Elie Wiesel and Bertrand Herz)

The UN theme for programs this year is "Rescue during the Holocaust: The Courage to Care."  

"On this day, we recall the courage, spirit, and determination of those who heroically resisted the Nazis, exemplifying the very best of humanity," President Obama said.  "And like these courageous individuals, we must commit ourselves to resisting hate and persecution in all its forms.
  
President Obama vowed that the United States will continue to work with the international community to stay true to the principles of 'Never Again.'

"By remaining vigilant against those who seek to perpetrate violence and murder, we honor those we lost during one of the darkest periods in human history. And we keep their memory alive for generations to come," President Obama said.

President Obama's full statement:

"On January 27th, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we honor the memories of the 6 million Jews and millions of other innocent victims whose lives were tragically taken during the Holocaust over sixty years ago. Those who experienced the horrors of the cattle cars, ghettos, and concentration camps have witnessed humanity at its very worst and know too well the pain of losing loved ones to senseless violence.

But while this is a time for mourning and reflection, it is also the time for action. On this day, we recall the courage, spirit, and determination of those who heroically resisted the Nazis, exemplifying the very best of humanity. And like these courageous individuals, we must commit ourselves to resisting hate and persecution in all its forms. The United States, along with the international community, resolves to stand in the way of any tyrant or dictator who commits crimes against humanity, and stay true to the principle of “Never Again.”

By remaining vigilant against those who seek to perpetrate violence and murder, we honor those we lost during one of the darkest periods in human history. And we keep their memory alive for generations to come."



Above, in April 0f 2012, President Obama toured the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., with Sara Bloomfield, museum director, and Elie Wiesel.

*Top photo taken by Pete Souza/White House, on June 5, 2009.  Second by Pete Souza/White House, April 23, 2012.