Jan. 28, 2016
Obama Pays Tribute to American Heroes of the Holocaust – Dave Boyer
President Barack Obama, speaking at the Israeli Embassy in Washington on Wednesday to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, paid tribute to Americans who saved Jews from the Holocaust during World War II.
Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, bestowed its Righteous Among the Nations award posthumously on Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds of Knoxville, Tennessee. As a prisoner of war in January 1945, Sgt. Edmonds was told by his Nazi captors to reveal which of his fellow prisoners of war were Jewish. At the barrel of a gun, Sgt. Edmonds refused, declaring, “We are all Jews.”
Also honored was Lois Gunden, a French teacher from Indiana, who founded a children’s home on the French coast that acted as a safe house for Jewish families. (Washington Times-CNN)
See also Remarks by President Obama on Holocaust Remembrance Day (White House)
International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Jews Are Once Again Being Targeted Just for Being Jews – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister’s Office)
Preserving the memory of the Holocaust is more important today than ever, for in this period of resurgent and sometimes violent anti-Semitism, it is commemorations like this that remind us all where the oldest and most enduring hatred can lead.
Unfortunately, in Europe and elsewhere, Jews are once again being targeted just for being Jews. Around the world, Jewish communities are increasingly living in fear. We see anti-Semitism directed against individual Jews, and we also see this hatred directed against the collective Jew, against the Jewish state. Israel is targeted with the same slurs and the same libels that were leveled against the Jewish people since time immemorial.
Islamic extremists incorporate the most outrageous anti-Semitism into their murderous doctrines. We see this in Gaza; we see it in Raqqa; we see it in Tehran. And even respected Western opinion leaders have become afflicted with hatred for the Jewish people and the Jewish state.
The obsession with the Jews – the fixation on the Jewish state – defies any rational explanation. While across the region, Islamist militants brutalize entire populations, enslave and rape women, murder Christians and gays, the UN Human Rights Council repeatedly condemns Israel.
But one thing has changed. The Jews have changed. We are no longer a stateless people endlessly searching for a safe haven. We are no longer a powerless people begging others to offer us protection. Today we are an independent and sovereign people in our own homeland.
Today we can speak out against the voices of hatred and those seeking our destruction. Today we can protect ourselves and defend our freedom. But where is the rest of civilization?
When a state like Iran and movements like Daesh [ISIS] and Hamas openly declare their goal of committing another Holocaust, we will not let it happen. But Europe and the rest of the world must stand up together with us. Not for our sake; for theirs.
Ayatollah Khamenei Publishes Holocaust Denial Video for International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published on his official website a three-minute video in which he expresses doubt about whether the Holocaust actually happened and rages about Europe’s ban on public questioning of the validity of the Holocaust. The video also features images of leading European Holocaust deniers. (MEMRI)
See also The Abuse of Holocaust Memory: Distortions and Responses – Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld
Denial of the Holocaust is the best-known and most-studied distortion of its memory. Other categories of abuse include Holocaust justification, deflection, whitewashing, de-Judaization, equivalence, inversion, and trivialization, as well as obliterating Holocaust memory. This book analyzes the categories of distortion and the responses to them. Also included are case studies that analyze Holocaust distortion in several European countries and the Muslim world. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs-ADL)