Mr. Speaker, in recent weeks, I had the first-hand opportunity to bear witness to the reality of man’s inhumanity to man.
In late March I was part of an eclectic and diverse delegation of Canadians who went on a deeply moving mission to Poland with Friends of Simon Wiesenthal. It was a journey of remembrance, of honour and of learning. It was a journey that took us not only to Auschwitz-Birkenau, but included the Majdanek concentration camp, Schindler’s factory, and the Plaszow concentration camp. Throughout the trip, we were accompanied by Sam Eisen of Toronto who, at age 15 and a half, survived the brutality of Auschwitz.
In Winnipeg in mid-April, a unique book was launched, Voices of Winnipeg Holocaust Survivors, recording the singular story of 73 Holocaust survivors who found their way to Winnipeg. Survivors and their families remain haunted by their losses. To them we must express our thanks for what they do and say publicly, for it is through their stories we learn the real consequences of hate. They remind us of the importance of naming human rights abuses for what they are, investing in peace, and standing up against hatred wherever we find it.