The Secretary of State stressed the need to remember the victims of the Holocaust and fight racial hatred today.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a video message on the occasion of the Day of Remembrance of the Disaster and Heroism (Yom a-Shoah), which is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
Emphasizing the need to preserve the memory of the tragic events of the past, Blinken said: “We remember not only what happened, but also how it was allowed to happen. We remember to observe the institutions and societies we are a part of and understand what they did and did not 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-white people, people with disabilities, and refugees. When hate ideologies gain popularity, violence soon begins, as illustrated by the recent attacks on Asian Americans. A few weeks ago, the Director of National Intelligence released a report stating that today the main threat to domestic violent extremism in America is extremists acting on the grounds of racial or ethnic hatred. Not surprisingly, many of these extremists deny the Holocaust. These things are interrelated. Therefore, we must remain vigilant.”
Meanwhile, the annual “March of the Living,” which Holocaust survivors and their relatives hold on the territory of the former Auschwitz concentration camp in southern Poland, is held in virtual mode for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the restrictions that do not allow the event to be held in the usual format, the organizers and participants note how important it is to continue this tradition.
“We simply have no other choice,” said 84-year-old Holocaust survivor Tziporah Freund. – This time, everything is virtual, but every year people hold a march… Young people and old people march together, showing that they will never forget about this tragedy.”
Freund and her son, who were in Israel and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and other participants in the virtual march, left digital messages on the train tracks leading to the concentration camp gates. This ritual is part of a computer simulation of the event.
The death camp Auschwitz, which the Nazis built in occupied Poland during World War II, killed more than 1.1 million people. 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 70-year-old Baruch Adler, co-founder, and vice-chairman of the March of the Living. – The meaning is: you need to know that you need to fight. This memory is part of the struggle.”