POLITICS
01/27/2015 09:53 am ET

Obama Remembers Liberation Of Auschwitz-Birkenau On 70th Anniversary

President Barack Obama released a statement Tuesday on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, citing the recent attacks in Paris as "a painful reminder of our obligation to condemn and combat rising anti-Semitism in all its forms, including the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust."

Survivors of the Holocaust have been sharing their stories and returning to Auschwitz -- some for the first time since the war -- to pay tribute to those who perished at the death camps.

On Jan. 17, Obama announced a presidential delegation, including Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and two Holocaust survivors, planned to visit Oświęcim, Poland, to commemorate the anniversary of the liberation.

Read Obama's full statement below:

On the tenth International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the American people pay tribute to the six million Jews and millions of others murdered by the Nazi regime. We also honor those who survived the Shoah, while recognizing the scars and burdens that many have carried ever since.

Honoring the victims and survivors begins with our renewed recognition of the value and dignity of each person. It demands from us the courage to protect the persecuted and speak out against bigotry and hatred. The recent terrorist attacks in Paris serve as a painful reminder of our obligation to condemn and combat rising anti-Semitism in all its forms, including the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust.

This anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made confronting this terrible chapter in human history and on our continuing efforts to end genocide. I have sent a Presidential delegation to join Polish President Komorowski, the Polish people, official delegations from scores of nations, and many survivors, at today’s official commemoration in Poland.

As a founding member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the United States joins the Alliance’s thirty other member nations and partners in reiterating its solemn responsibility to uphold the commitments of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration. We commemorate all of the victims of the Holocaust, pledging never to forget, and recalling the cautionary words of the author and survivor of Auschwitz Primo Levi, “It happened, therefore it can happen again. . . . It can happen anywhere.” Today we come together and commit, to the millions of murdered souls and all survivors, that it must never happen again.

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