Bipartisan resolution to be introduced marking 75th year of liberation of Auschwitz
January 31, 2020
(JNS)—A bipartisan resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives will be introduced on Monday, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp.
It will be introduced by Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), their offices announced on Thursday.
The resolution honors the 6 million Jews who were murdered by the Nazi regime and the millions of others whose lives were tragically cut short, many of them from minority groups.
The measure also reaffirms the United States’ shared commitment to combating anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry.
Additionally, it supports continued educational efforts to teach future generations about the Holocaust and pays tribute to Holocaust survivors who have shared their painful stories, which serve as a warning to future generations.
More than 80,000 Holocaust survivors still live in the United States.
“Nearly 75 years ago, Allied troops liberated Auschwitz and saw with their own eyes the Nazi regime’s evil and barbaric persecution of Jews and other minorities,” said Meng. “Since then, the United States has resolved to teach future generations about the Holocaust, and why anti-Semitism and bigotry must be fought whenever and wherever these acts of hate occur.”
“I will never forget what I experienced during my visit to Auschwitz this week—the gas chambers, the crematorium, the hair and glasses and personal belongings that were taken from murdered Jews,” said Deutch, who is Jewish. “I walked through the gates where more than 1.1 million people perished, mostly European Jews. Many were subjected to torture, starvation, experimentation, and ultimately, mass execution in gas chambers.”
“We must give real and powerful meaning to ‘never again.’ Let us honor the Survivors and ensure their dignity in their remaining years, and work to make sure our children learn of the horrors of the Holocaust so it never happens again,” he continued. “We can also honor the memories of all who were murdered by standing united against anti-Semitism and fighting hatred in all of its forms.”
Zeldin, also Jewish, added, “Never again in any form can we allow this horribly unjust ending for the innocent lives of so many children, women and men. Thankfully, with the will and courage of our greatest generation and their service and sacrifice, ultimately, good triumphed over evil, but not before millions of lives were unfathomably cut short, tearing apart families, communities and nations. This resolution strongly reaffirms this important pledge and resolves to combat anti-Semitism in our modern world wherever and however it may rear its ugly head.”
The resolution is endorsed by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Jewish Federations of North America, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Union of Reform Judaism, Union of Orthodox Congregations of America, American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, HIAS, B’nai Brith International, National Council of Jewish Women, American Zionist Movement, Jewish Women International, MERCAZ USA, National Association of Jewish Legislators and Hadassah.
At present, more than 40 co-sponsors are supporting the resolution, most of them Democrats.
Similar resolution introduced in Senate
A similar resolution was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday by Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.).
“‘Never again’ should be more than just words,” said Cramer. “Seventy-five years ago, good defeated evil, and commemorating that anniversary reminds us of what it costs when we refuse to combat the rising tide of anti-Semitism.”
“During the Holocaust, 6 million Jews and millions of other innocent individuals—Poles, Soviets, Romani, Serbs, Afro-Germans, Jehovah’s Witnesses, gay men and women, people with disabilities and countless others—were forced into concentration camps, including Auschwitz, and violently murdered,” said Rosen.
“We will never forget the suffering inflicted upon these individuals or on those who survived the horrors of the Holocaust. We honor this day, and the millions lost, by making a pledge that we will never allow an event like the Holocaust to occur again. ‘Never Again’ must mean ‘Never Again’ for anyone,” she continued. “From this dark past, we must band together to bring forth a brighter future, fighting anti-Semitism and hate in every form.”
Rosen, along with Cramer and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), last year introduced the “Never Again Education Act” that, if enacted, would create a grant program at the U.S. Department of Education to enable teachers across the United States the resources and training necessary to teach students about the Holocaust and its lessons.
A similar version was introduced in the House.