In Recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressmen James McGovern and Joseph Pitts, the Co-Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, issued the following statement in recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“Today, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we join the world community in pausing to reflect on the Holocaust, a crime so immense in scale and terrible in purpose that it spawned a new word, genocide, and spurred an international treaty in the hope of preventing its recurrence. We must never allow ourselves to forget the millions of civilians and disarmed soldiers killed by the Nazi regime and its collaborators during World War II -- up to 6 million Jews; 5.7 million non-Jewish Soviet civilians; 3 million Soviet prisoners of war, including 50,000 Jewish soldiers; 1.8 million non-Jewish Polish civilians; 312,000 Serb civilians; 250,000 disabled people living in institutions; as many as 220,000 Roma; 1,900 Jehovah’s Witnesses; at least 70,000 repeat criminal offenders and so-called “asocials;” an undetermined number of German political opponents and resistance activists; and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homosexuals.”
“Even as we are called upon to remember, we must also act. As we celebrate the liberation of Auschwitz 71 years ago on this day, we must also take upon ourselves the necessary task of combatting anti-Semitism and its current-day expressions—religious intolerance, incitement and persecution based on ethnic origin or cultural norms—that continue to place communities and entire peoples at risk. We must ask what more we can do to protect the Yazidi, the Rohingya, Syrian and Iraqi Christians, and any other people caught in the downward spiral of 21st century social violence and armed conflict. Remembering the Holocaust is only the first step.”
The press release is available here.