U.S. President Joe Biden announced a week of “Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust” from April 4 to 11, calling on Americans to “pause to remember victims and survivors of the Holocaust” in a proclamation Sunday.
“On Yom HaShoah -- Holocaust Remembrance Day -- we stand in solidarity with the Jewish people in America, Israel, and around the world to remember and reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House on Sunday.
The statement comes ahead of Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day that begins on Wednesday night and ends 24 hours later. The U.S. will also commemorate the Days of Remembrance on Thursday.
Biden noted the estimated six million Jews and millions of other victims in the Nazis, including “Roma and Sinti, Slavs, disabled persons, LGBTQ+ individuals and others.”
"I remember learning about the horrors of the Holocaust from my father when I was growing up, and I have sought to impart that history to my own children and grandchildren in turn," Biden said in his statement.
"I have taken them on separate visits to Dachau, so that they could see for themselves what happened there, and to impress on them the urgency to speak out whenever they witness anti-Semitism or any form of ethnic and religious hatred, racism, homophobia, or xenophobia," he said.
"The legacy of the Holocaust must always remind us that silence in the face of such bigotry is complicity — remembering, as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, that there are moments when “'indifference to evil is worse than evil itself.'”
The president referred to the Survivors of the Holocaust, calling them an inspiration to every American but added that they continue to live with the unique mental and physical from the trauma and some of them living in the U.S. are suffering from poverty.
"When I served as Vice President, I helped secure Federal funding for grants to support Holocaust survivors," Biden said.
"But we must do more to pursue justice and dignity for survivors and their heirs. We have a moral imperative to recognize the pain survivors carry, support them, and ensure that their memories and experiences of the Holocaust are neither denied nor distorted, and that the lessons for all humanity are never forgotten."
Biden ended by saying that Holocaust Remembrance Day must also reinforce America's ongoing duty to counter all forms of dehumanizing and bigotry directed against the LGBTQ+, the disabled and other marginalized communities.
"While hate may never be permanently defeated, it must always be confronted and condemned," he said.
"When we recognize the fundamental human dignity of all people, we help to build a more just and peaceful world. In the memory of all those who were lost, and in honor of all those who survived, we must continue to work toward a better, freer, and more just future for all humankind."