74 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
With each year that passes, the memory and the pain of the Holocaust seems all the more distant. 1945 may seem like a long time ago, a mere dot in history. But to our ancestors who fled the horrors enacted by the Nazi regime, as well as those that lost their lives or their loved ones, it is a vivid and enduring reality.
That is why International Holocaust Remembrance Day holds so much significance not only to me, the son of Holocaust survivors, but to members of Jewish communities around the world. It is a day where we recognize the suffering of our people, and promise those who came before us that we will cherish, preserve, and honor their memory.
By marking this day on the calendar, we said “never again.” Never again will we allow the mass atrocities of the Holocaust to happen. After the riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and all the other demonstrations of white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and bigotry in the U.S., it is paramount that we learn from the past and stand vigilant to make sure hatred cannot gain power here.
The American Jewish Congress has fought against Nazism since the beginning. Our founder, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, was one of the first major American voices to speak out against the evils of Nazism. In 1933, we became one of the first organizations to call for the boycott of all Nazi goods. On March 27th of that year, Rabbi Wise organized an enormous rally in Madison Square Garden, which brought together 50,000 people to listen to then-Governor Al Smith and Senator Robert Wagner warn about the rise of the Nazi regime. Our organization has always advocated against that monstrous ideology; we have no intention of stopping now.
Join with me and the American Jewish Congress in building a better society for Jews, and indeed for all Americans. We firmly believe that freedoms and rights are not truly protected for anyone if they are not protected for everyone. As long as we live in a world where genocide can occur against any group, no group is truly safe.
Never again will we allow anyone to endure what millions of our people suffered. That is how we honor them.
American Jewish Congress