Statement on Holocaust Memorial Day 2017

This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme – How Can Life Go On – could not be more apt in these increasingly intolerant times.

I recently visited the Terezin concentration camp memorial. More than 150,000 Jews were sent there including 15,000 children. Many were later transferred to certain death at Auschwitz or Treblinka.

Some children at Terezin wrote poems chronicling their lives in the ghetto. 16 year-old Alena Synkova wrote this on her wish to be reunited with a loved one.

“Though there is anguish deep in my soul – what if I might search for you forever?

“I must not lose faith.

“I must not lose hope.”

Survivors of genocide do not have their names on memorials. But their stories, their suffering and their courage stand as living testaments to us all to continue the fight against antisemitism and all forms of racism.

This Holocaust Memorial Day let us remember to never lose our faith and hope for a better world.

And redouble our efforts to defeat evil and intolerance.