WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Ranking Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, made the following statement on International Holocaust Commemoration Day, which is Sunday, January 27:
“The anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland is a day set aside by the international community for the remembrance of the Holocaust. Faced with the deadly consequences of ignorance, hatred, and conspiracy theories from Pittsburgh and Kentucky to Gdansk, it is critical to advance knowledge, tolerance, and reason. This is not a one-day-of-the-year task, but an undertaking that requires commitment, action, and resources 365 days a year.
“Last year, I was honored to join the United States Holocaust Memorial Council as one of the 10 members from the Congress – five from the United States Senate and five from the House of Representatives – who serve on this governing board. The Museum is the United States’ official memorial to victims of the Holocaust; it is the U.S. Government’s preeminent voice to ensure that we never forget those who perished; and it is our collective conscience in the fight against apathy and ignorance. As a leader of the Helsinki Commission, I have long worked with to support the mission of the Museum, including preserving irreplaceable archives and testimonies and protecting sensitive sites of remembrance. Now more than ever, we must apply lessons from the past to the challenges we face today.”
In 2015, Sen. Cardin was named as the Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the 57-nation Organization Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly. In the U.S. Senate and, through the U.S. Helsinki Commission (CSCE), Senator Cardin has worked to raise awareness of the escalation of global anti-Semitic violence, anti-Muslim laws, and other forms of intolerance while working to promote peace, tolerance and equality.
Senator Cardin is the author of the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act, bipartisan legislation to ensure that the U.S. government works in a coordinated manner using its full range of tools to help prevent mass atrocities. He is the author of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act and the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which have set the global standard for ensuring justice for rights defenders in the fight against impunity.