#WeRemember Six Million Jews Murdered in Holocaust
Ottawa, ON – January 17, 2024 – On Saturday, January 27, 2024, Jewish Canadians will stand united with a global movement to remember the six million Jewish children, women, and men murdered in the Holocaust. This occasion is part of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, this year marking the 79th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. We also remember, with gratitude, the many families honoured as Righteous Among the Nations for their courage and heroism.
As the Canadian affiliate of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has joined the WJC in what will be the largest global Holocaust commemoration ever – the ninth annual #WeRemember campaign calling on us all never to forget the victims and Survivors of the Holocaust.
From January 20 to 27, Canadians across the country are encouraged to upload pictures of themselves holding “We Remember” signs and to post them to social media using the hashtag #WeRemember and tagging @cijainfo and @worldjewishcongress. Many of these images from around the world will later be projected on a screen at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
As part of the campaign, on the evening of January 27, public venues across Canada, including monuments, city halls, provincial legislatures, bridges, and community centres, will be bathed in yellow light in remembrance of those murdered in the Holocaust. A full list of monuments to be illuminated across the country can be found here.
For more information about the #WeRemember campaign and International Holocaust Remembrance Day, visit cija.ca/weremember.
Shimon Koffler Fogel, President and CEO, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs:
“The October 7 Massacre is a tragic reminder that Jew-hatred is still pervasive. Like the Nazis’ evil and destructive movement focused on the elimination of an entire race, Hamas’ charter clearly states its genocidal intent to wipe Israel off the map and exterminate the Jewish people. We have an opportunity today that society did not have then: to learn from the mistakes of the past to ensure they are not repeated.
“We must teach the universal lessons of the Holocaust to bridge the understanding of historic antisemitism with the hate experienced today. We continue to call on provincial governments across the country to follow the example of Ontario, B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in mandating Holocaust education in elementary schools, expanding resources, and strengthening anti-hate training for students, educators, and families.
“The world promised never again. As the number of Survivors diminishes with time, the horrors of the Shoah are eerily paralleled with the rampant antisemitism and silent complicity of thought-leaders and political leaders who, today, have the power to demonstrate that never again will the world tolerate the poison of hate, racism, and bigotry. We must not let those who have already suffered through the darkest chapter in history witness our descent into that darkness again. Education and action are the ways to ensure a path forward without hate.
“Together, let us renew our collective vow: “Never Again.””
Pinchas Gutter, Co-President of the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants (CJHSD):
“As Survivors, we remember. We have witnessed with our own eyes the horrors of the Holocaust and the darkest days of humanity. Loved ones, children, women, men torn from their families, brutalized, traumatized, and murdered. International Holocaust Remembrance Day calls on all of us to remember the six million souls murdered and to proclaim: “never again.”
“But it’s happening again. A murderous campaign has been unleashed against our brothers and sisters in Israel – the outcome of the genocidal policy of Hamas. This must be faced down by the entire world.”
Edit Kuper, Co-President of the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants (CJHSD):
“It has taken the surviving remnant of my family and thousands of other Holocaust survivors more than 70 years to reconstitute themselves. Many of them thought Canada would be our place to restore and rebuild while others turned to Israel for refuge. We believed in ‘Never Again.’ It is very hard for us to understand why antisemitism has suddenly spiked in Canada and the West. Have we and our children not made significant enough contributions to our societies?
“Then came October 7, a day of infamy, and all our nightmares intensified. We never thought we would have to witness another such massacre of Jews. While the fighting continues in the Middle East and hostages remain in Gaza, the world blames Israel and the Jews but not Hamas. Meanwhile, today, in memory of all our loved ones who perished in the Holocaust and of all whose families were again ripped apart, we strive to combat antisemitism and hate speech in our own country and around the world.”
- International Holocaust Remembrance Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly on November 1, 2005, to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. The resolution stemmed from a special session held on January 24, 2005, during which the United Nations General Assembly marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust.
- The Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey conducted by the Claims Conference demonstrated that an alarming 22% of Canadian millennials have not heard, or are unsure if they have heard, of the Holocaust; and 62% of Canadian millennials were not aware that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
- CIJA is committed to working with the government to increase investment in antisemitism and Holocaust education across Canada.
About the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, representing Jewish Federations across Canada. CIJA is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect Jewish life in Canada through advocacy and to advance the public policy interests of Canada’s organized Jewish community.
About Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants
The Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants (CJHSD) was founded in 1999 and is a grassroots organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of its members and represents Canadian Survivors at the Jewish Material Claims Conference. The CJHSD is an independent organization affiliated with CIJA.
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