Steny H. Hoyer

01/27/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/27/2023 23:46

Hoyer Statement in Observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) released the following statement today in observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day:

"Upon seeing the atrocities of the Nazi death camps in 1945, General Dwight D. Eisenhower immediately grasped the importance of preserving the memory of the Holocaust. He understood that if the world forgot this unprecedented act of barbarism, we would risk allowing it to occur again. That's why he immediately demanded that journalists, Members of Congress, and other officials come to bear witness to the camps' horrors firsthand. That is also the reason why I join countless people around the world in observing International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today, we remember the six million Jews and five million others who were systematically murdered by the Nazis. The dastardly extermination campaign that unfolded in thousands of ghettos, killing fields, and concentration camps throughout Europe revealed the darkest side of humanity. The stories of survival and resistance that emerged from the Holocaust, however, remind us of the highest human virtues.

"Holocaust remembrance is more important than ever as we contend with growing antisemitism and extremism. Recently, we have seen celebrities and many others in America promote baseless antisemitic conspiracy theories, downplay and deny the Holocaust, and even glorify the fascist regime that perpetrated it. This rhetoric is not just sickening; it is dangerous. The painful memory of the deadly attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018 remains fresh in our minds. Antisemitism and all prejudices like it also threaten democracy itself. We saw proof of that when insurrectionists brandishing antisemitic symbols and slogans assaulted the Capitol on January 6, 2021. In the last year, unprovoked and indiscriminate Russian attacks on the free people of Ukraine have claimed the lives of multiple elderly Holocaust survivors and damaged the memorial to the more than 33,000 Jews who were shot by the Nazis at Babyn Yar in 1941. Indeed, Vladimir Putin's criminal invasion of Ukraine reminds us that authoritarianism still poses an existential threat to human rights and international peace.

"We have a responsibility to push back against all forms of prejudice - including this rising antisemitism. That's why I continue to call out antisemitism in our politics and to stand up for the Jewish community in America, Israel, and around the world. I've also been proud to help enact legislation to expand Holocaust education in America. We must ensure that our nation and world never forget the solemn lessons we learned from that terrible tragedy."