Each year, the United Nations marks January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day – an important time for us all to pause and pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust. It’s also an opportunity for all progressive individuals and organizations to reaffirm our commitment to oppose antisemitism, racism and intolerance, which all too often can lead to targeted violence.
The Holocaust was indisputably one of the darkest events in human history. Millions of people lost their lives as part of a state-sanctioned genocide. Most of them were Jewish. And as we reflect on this grave injustice, we must remember the stories and experiences of those who lost their lives and those who survived to speak of the horrors.
We must never forget, so that this dark page in history is never repeated.
Although it has been 76 years since the liberation of the Nazi Concentration Camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 1945, we’re still witnessing the poisonous effects of alt-right ideology to this day, and all too often, very close to home.
We’ve seen how easily a nation – even a democratic one – can begin to devolve into state-sanctioned bigotry at the hands of an egocentric leader. We’ve seen financial insecurity, fear and misinformation turn citizens against one another and we’ve seen the flames of intolerance stoked by those in power with hatred in their hearts.
We’ve seen enough to know that in 2021, there is a renewed importance to our commitment to oppose antisemitism, racism and intolerance in all its forms. With the rise of alt-right hate groups like the Proud Boys, our diligence matters more than ever.
On January 27, let’s all take the time to reflect on the horrors, but also the lessons of the Holocaust; to continue to speak for the voiceless, to fight for social justice and to once again say: never again.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer