MASSE RISES IN PARLIAMENT AND DELIVERS STATEMENT TO COMMEMORATE NATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY

Ottawa, ON – Today, Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West) released a statement (see below) in honour of National Holocaust Remembrance Day. Mr. Masse will be walking with holocaust survivor at the National Remembrance Ceremony in Ottawa, held at the National War Museum, at 3:30 p.m. today.

Mr. Speaker,

 Today many of my colleagues and I will walk with a Canadian Holocaust Survivor on this National Holocaust Remembrance Day. I shared in this same honour last Thursday – remembering with Windsor’s Jewish Community at our local ceremony.

 The Holocaust refers to a specific genocide event in 20th century history: the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945.

 Jews were the primary victims—6 million were murdered; but they also targeted Gypsies, the handicapped, and Polish citizens because of racial, ethnic, or national reasons.

 Millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war, and political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny.

 It is our nation’s obligation to break down the walls of indifference and to shatter the conspiracy of silence. As an international community we must stand together and act to prevent future genocide, not stand idly by and intervene when it is too late.

 Today by reflecting on this annihilation we break that silence and honour the memory of its victims.

 As Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor said: “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”  

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