Remembering the Survivors of Auschwitz

By AJC, Special for  USDR.

AJC Executive Director will attend, as a member of the U.S. presidential delegation led by Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, the commemoration event at Auschwitz, marking the 70th anniversary of the Nazi concentration camp’s liberation. In addition, AJC President Stanley Bergman will lead a delegation from the organization at the  event.

The UN designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, when the world body and countries around the world recall and commemorate the Nazi destruction of six million Jews, including one-and-a- half-million  children.

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary, AJC issued the following  statement:

We  Remember

In the Jewish tradition, we are commanded to remember (zachor) and not to forget (lo tishkach). On January 27, we commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this solemn occasion, 70 years after the liberation of  Auschwitz:

We remember the six million Jewish martyrs, including 1.5 million children, who were exterminated in the  Holocaust.

We remember the entirely new alphabet created by the Nazis for the Final Solution — from the letter “A” for Auschwitz to the letter “Z” for  Zyklon-B.

We remember not only the tragic deaths of the six million Jews, but also their vibrant lives—as shopkeepers and craftsmen, scientists and authors, teachers and students, parents and children, husbands and  wives.

We remember the richly hued and ancient Jewish civilizations that were destroyed—from Salonika to Vilna, from Amsterdam to  Prague.

We remember the slippery slope that began with the rantings of an obscure Austrian-born anti-Semite named Adolf Hitler and led, in the course of less than 15 years, to his absolute control over  Germany.

We remember the fertile soil of European anti-Semitism—cultivated over centuries by cultural, political, and religious voices—that created an all-too-receptive climate for the Nazi objective of eliminating the Jewish  people.

We remember the courage of Denmark, as well as Albania, Bulgaria, and Finland, for their extraordinary efforts to protect their own Jewish  communities.

We remember the courage of thousands of Righteous Persons—whom we call, in Hebrew, Hasidei Umot Ha’olam—who risked their own lives so that others might  live.

We remember the millions of non-Jews—Poles and Russians, Roma and the disabled, political opponents and homosexuals—murdered under the relentless Nazi  onslaught.

We remember the valiant soldiers of the Allied nations who, at such great human cost, vanquished the Third  Reich.

We remember the survivors of the death camps, who endured such unimaginable suffering and who have inspired us all with their indomitable courage, spirit, and will to  live.

We remember the absence of an Israel in those war-time years—an Israel that, had it existed, would have provided a haven when so shamefully few countries were willing to accept Jewish  refugees.

We shall never forget those who  perished.

We shall never forget those who saved even a single life. As it is written in the Talmud: “He who saves one life has saved the  world.”

We shall never forget the importance of speaking out against intolerance, whenever and wherever it  occurs.

We shall never forget the inextricable link among democracy, the rule of law, and protection of human  rights.

We shall never forget the age-old prophetic vision of a world of justice, harmony, and  peace.

And we shall never forget that each of us, in ways large and small, can help bring us closer to the realization of that prophetic  vision.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.