BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is Saturday, January 27, 2018. Senator Cardin also joined his colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump asking him to publicly observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorate the lives of the six million Jews and countless others who were brutally murdered by the Nazi regime. The letter can be found here.
“Today, we join the global community in remembering the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. This solemn day commemorates the 1944 liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi Concentration Camp where innocent men, women and children lost their lives, their families and their future at the hands of a cruel regime.
“As the number of Holocaust survivors grows smaller each year, their stories become more precious. The remaining survivors and their children and grandchildren carry with them the deep wounds of these tragic experiences. The Holocaust is a particularly personal pain for the Jewish people, it also is a cautionary tale in the history of humanity.
“Seventy-three years is not a long time in the scope of history. The world is a much different place than it was then, but the lessons of the Holocaust’s dark cloud rightly serve as warning signs in present day. We must not forget how fear and hate so quickly became the rules that governed a nation. The Nazi regime pushed propaganda and harmful stereotypes to create a state that tolerated and normalized bigotry. Nationalistic ideals steeped in xenophobia and ethnocentrism, soon became justification for the suppression of political opponents, the suspension of civil rights, and ultimately the senseless attempt to exterminate an entire people.
“We cannot let the passage of time weaken our bond with this dark past or wean us from our responsibilities in the present. In the absence of moral leadership from any entity, civilized people must stand even stronger in our convictions and unequivocally denounce Anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and bigotry wherever it arises. As hate crimes continue to rise in our own nation and the number of refugees fleeing political violence and modern-day genocide reaches record highs, we must reaffirm our sense of duty and our commitment to preserving freedom, equality, and fundamental human rights for all people.
“This day of remembrance is a call to action, a pledge to honor the plight and suffering of our predecessors by creating a future that upholds the words ‘Never Again’ in strength and perpetuity.”