Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Statement by Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.) on National Holocaust Remembrance Day

Mr. Speaker, I rise to commemorate National Holocaust Remembrance Day, a remembrance of horrors too terrible to be believed but not too terrible to have happened, of the Holocaust as a war against the Jews in which not all victims were Jews but all Jews were targeted victims – defamed, demonized and dehumanized  – as prologue and justification for their destruction.

As a reminder of the dangers state-sanctioned incitement to hatred and genocide; of the danger of the oldest and most enduring of hatreds, anti-Semitism; of indifference and inaction in the face of incitement and mass atrocity; of the targeting of the vulnerable, whom the Nazis spoke of as having “lives not worth living”; of the culture of impugnity; of the dangers of forgetting, ignoring, trivializing or denying the Holocaust; and, remembering also, on this centenary of Raoul Wallenberg, this hero of the Holocaust who demonstrated that one person can resist, that one person can confront evil, that one person can prevail, that one person can transform history.

Let us pledge never again to be silent or indifferent in the face of evil. Plus jamais.