WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today released the following statement on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi extermination camp.
“Today, I add my voice in commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. More than a million people were murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and its liberation by the Soviet Army represented a decisive triumph in the war against Nazi Germany and the systematic genocide against the Jews and other groups. As each year passes, it becomes increasingly important to keep alive the memory of those who perished and resisted to ensure ‘never again’ is a reality. The liberation is a stark reminder of the responsibilities we have in protecting human life, and should also serve as a lesson for the future.
“Given Europe’s history with the Holocaust, I am deeply disturbed by the recent wave of anti-Semitism in Europe – most notably this month’s attack by religious extremists on a Paris kosher supermarket. Anti-Semitism is again rearing its ugly head and European leaders must remain vigilant in combating its perpetrators and ensuring the safety of their Jewish communities. Only with honest dialogue, critical self-examination, and strong security measures can Europe effectively defeat this wave of hate and protect the rights – and lives – of all its citizens.”