Last week an article by Vladimir Putin’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, caught my attention. He had the audacity to compare NATO support of Ukraine and their so-called mistreatment of Russia to Nazi Germany’s attacks in Europe and the Holocaust they perpetrated as a “final solution” to the “Jewish problem.” It is this insidious minimization and misappropriation of the Shoah that underscore the absolute necessity of remembering and honouring the victims, embracing the Survivors, and renewing our commitment to “Never Again.”
Never again requires us to ensure that antisemitism is not permitted to take root and become normalized in Canada. It’s ensuring that holding Israel to a standard higher than any other country in the world is understood for the anti-Jew hate that it is. As the Survivor community decreases, it is incumbent upon all of us to see that the torch burns brightly and that Canadians from coast to coast to coast remember the tragic loss. The legacy of the Holocaust must be to remind the world that silence in the face of hate is complicity.
On January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, as part of a global campaign, more than 40 buildings and monuments across the country and in every province will be illuminated to remember and pay tribute to the six million men, women, and children who were victims of this senseless atrocity and to acknowledge the horror that was the ultimate consequence of anti-Jewish hate. Let us remind the world that it is this light that will dispel the evil and prevent it ever happening again. It is imperative that the truth be understood and shared, in perpetuity, with future generations.
And you too can take part in this global campaign. Download a #WeRemember sign, take a picture of yourself, your family, or your friends holding it, and then share your photo on social media with the hashtag #WeRemember, tagging @cijainfo and @WorldJewishCong. You can read more here.
As we pass the torch of remembrance to the next generation, please reach out to friends, schools, churches, synagogues, youth organizations, and community leaders and encourage them to participate in the #WeRemember campaign – and watch for the commemorative illuminations across Canada!
If you’re not sure what might be illuminated near you, you can find our up-to-date list here.
Help us stand strong against antisemitism. Help us mark this day. And help us send a message that’s loud and clear: we will never back down or be quiet when we see antisemitism in any form.
In memory of the victims and in honour of the Survivors.
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