Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Holocaust Memorial Day

Mr. Speaker, more than 60 years ago, between 1940 and 1945, millions of Jewish men, women and children from various Nazi-occupied European countries, along with homosexuals and political dissidents, perished in Hitler’s death camps.

On this Holocaust Memorial Day, it is good to remember that at the end of the second world war, the world, stunned by so much horror, asked itself how such a death machine could have been developed and sustained. People needed to understand and name what had happened. The word ‘genocide’ was coined in 1945.

The Shoah-the Holocaust-made it imperative not to forget. Remembering is one way to prevent other genocides. The international community and the United Nations extended the desire to protect against genocide to war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing and, in 2005, adopted a resolution on the responsibility to protect.