OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement marking the International Day of Commemoration to Honour the Victims of the Holocaust:
“Today marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of Nazi Germany’s concentration and death camps. On this sombre day, the world has an obligation to reflect on the evil of the Holocaust, condemn the Nazi regime that perpetrated it, and to renew efforts to help prevent such horrors from being repeated in the future.
“On this anniversary we also honour those who, against all odds, survived the death camps and shared their experiences with the world so that we could better understand the horrors they endured. Words cannot do justice to their strength and courage.
“I was reminded of this extraordinary fortitude when I had the privilege of visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem last year. It was a truly moving experience that I will always remember.
“It is also important to recall the remarkable individuals who risked their lives to protect Jews and other victims of Nazi terror. The world should continue to draw inspiration from their righteousness and humanity.
“Recognizing that Canadians must remember this dark part of human history and learn from it, we are currently building a National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa.
“On this day, I commit that Canada will continue to dedicate itself to supporting Holocaust remembrance, education and research and to combat anti-Semitism around the world.”