The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on Friday issued the following statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day:
“The Holocaust was one of the darkest chapters in history. Tomorrow, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we remember and pay tribute to the more than six million Jews who were senselessly murdered, and we reaffirm our pledge to never forget.
“On January 27, 1945, the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated. Within its confines, over one million Jews had been barbarically murdered. The Nazi genocide of the Jewish people remains the largest in human history, accounting for two thirds of the Jewish population in Europe. Hundreds of thousands of Roma and Sinti and millions of people belonging to other groups – Slavs, members of the LGBTQI+ community, persons with disabilities, and political opponents – were also targeted by the Nazis. In total, over 11 million people were murdered by the end of the Second World War. Each one of their stories serves as an enduring reminder of the consequences of hate and discrimination.
“In recent months, a sharp, disturbing rise in antisemitism has been felt across the world, including right here at home. The Government of Canada continues to step up to counter hateful behaviours and acts of violence and to keep Canadians safe. Through Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, we have supported community organizations to advance anti-racism and multiculturalism. We have also announced new funding to enhance and expand the Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program to specifically support communities targeted by hate-motivated crime.
“Through the work of Canada’s new Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, Deborah Lyons, we are helping to ensure the painful lessons of history are remembered both at home and abroad, including through our involvement in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Today, many Holocaust survivors call Canada home, and we remain committed to making our country a safer, more inclusive place for them and their descendants.
“On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I encourage Canadians to learn more about this dark chapter in history, to remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, and to honour them by standing up against hate in all its forms.
“Together, let us repeat the vow: ‘Never again’.”