WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, and Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, released the following statement in observance of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023.
“Today we commemorate one of the darkest chapters in human history, the brutal genocide and persecution of Jews and other minority populations by Hitler and the Nazi Regime. On this solemn day, we honor the lives of the victims and survivors, as well as the hundreds of Jewish fighters who bravely resisted, like those in Warsaw in April 1943.
“This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the largest uprising by Jews during World War II and the first significant urban revolt against Nazi occupation in Europe. We especially remember the courage of women who played crucial roles in the Warsaw Uprising and the Polish resistance movement, including as officers and combatants.
“As communities around the world come together to observe Yom HaShoah, we remember the courage of these unsung heroines and recommit ourselves to standing up against intolerance, systemic oppression, and state-sanctioned genocide.
“This is not an easy time for Jews. I share the concerns of many about the increase in antisemitic activity in Maryland, across the U.S. and worldwide. White supremacist and Neo-Nazis, antisemites and Holocaust deniers are no longer hiding in the shadows. They have been emboldened and feel it is acceptable to spew their hate out in the open. This alarming trend has coincided with an increase in violent acts and hate crimes targeting synagogues, Jewish community centers, and schools.
“While these heinous acts have sought to instill fear, we must stand in solidarity with allies and collectively denounce these attacks. We must partner with other communities who have been victimized by such hate and renew our resolve to be truth tellers and educators. It is essential that we expand programs and initiatives that accurately discuss the Holocaust and the harmful ideologies that gave it life.
“Yom HaShoah serves as a cautionary reminder that we have a moral obligation to take a stand against atrocities wherever they arise. May we pledge to speak up for one another, regardless of our differences, and truly mean it when we say ‘never again’ to massacres and genocide. In doing so, we pay homage to the millions of victims of the Holocaust. May their memory be a blessing.”