On Friday, January 24th, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day by joining survivors and members of the Jewish community to reflect on the tragedy and horror of the Nazis’ reign of terror.
Standing with Holocaust survivors at Manhattan’s Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Maloney and David Marwell, Executive Director of the Museum paid tribute to the survivors, and remembered the men, women and children killed during the Holocaust. They also discussed the importance of documenting the history of the Holocaust and teaching future generations how dangerous hatred can be.
Following the gathering, Maloney traveled to Auschwitz-Birkenau to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th – the anniversary of the Soviet liberation of the Nazi’s death camps in Poland. The former concentration camp, now a memorial, is the site of the most horrific act of organized mass murder in recorded history. While in Poland, the group also visited the Auschwitz Jewish Center, operated by the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the only Jewish presence in the vicinity of the concentration camp.
“We are so pleased that Congresswoman Maloney and her colleagues were able to visit our Center and witness evidence of the vibrant Jewish life that animated the town of Oświęcim before the war – a powerful counterpoint to the Nazi death camp just a few kilometers away,” Marwell said. “We hope that this profound experience will help to inform their work of pursuing peace and justice in the world.”
Sol Rosenkranz, a Gallery Educator and volunteer speaker at the Museum of Jewish Heritage called the trip to Auschwitz “a sacred duty. – The Nazis did not succeed in their goal, but we must succeed in ours to be eyewitnesses and prove that the Holocaust is a historical fact,” he said.
Maloney is the House sponsor of the Simon Wiesenthal Holocaust Education Act which would create a new competitive grant program under the Department of Education to fund Holocaust education efforts.
“I think there is a moral obligation on the part of people everywhere to understand, that Auschwitz represents an effort to use all the power and technical efficiency of a modern state to eradicate the Jewish people,” Maloney said. “It is a symbol of man’s ultimate cruelty to man and it stands as a warning about the devastation that can be wrought when nations allow free reign to hatred. [International Holocaust Remembrance Day] is a day to renew our vow to the living that we shall never forget; and to recommit to our promise that this shall never happen again.”