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Home / Press Release / Honoring International Holocaust Remembrance Day by Preserving Memory, Combating Hatred
January 25, 2019

Honoring International Holocaust Remembrance Day by Preserving Memory, Combating Hatred

New York City—To commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which falls on January 27th and marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and honors the six million Jewish and millions of other victims murdered by the Nazi regime, Ira Forman, senior advisor for combating antisemitism at Human Rights First, issued the following statement:

This Sunday, seventy-four years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we are tasked with preserving memory and battling hatred. We recall the events of the last year—including the deadly violence against Jews in Pittsburgh and Paris, and the spreading of Holocaust denial and distortion in Europe. We are alarmed that a recent survey of the largest 12 Jewish communities in the European Union found that 38 percent of respondents said they considered emigrating from their country because they did not feel safe as a Jew. 

Today’s threats do not come solely from the fringe. In places such as Hungary and Poland, once proudly democratic nations, government leaders are traveling the road to authoritarianism. As they do so, they are distorting history to spin a fable about their nations and the Holocaust. Worse yet, in the case of Hungary, a European government is once again employing dog-whistle antisemitism to further its policy goals. 

So, as we honor the victims of the Holocaust, we must also reaffirm our commitment to never letting the world forget its full and accurate story. Nor can we allow the hate that spawned it to take root again.

Human Rights First urges the U.S. government and its democratic allies to deepen their efforts to combat antisemitism and other forms of bigotry at home and abroad. The organization further calls on the Trump Administration to appoint immediately an appropriately qualified Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. The position, when filled and adequately resourced, performs critical work documenting and combatting the scourge of world-wide antisemitism.

For more information or to speak with Forman contact Christopher Plummer at PlummerC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3310.