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Lessons From the Holocaust Must Be Told So it is Never Repeated

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At a time when horrific human rights violations occur on a daily basis in China, Syria, Yemen, Burma and in Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, it’s more important than ever that we keep the memory of the Holocaust alive and alert people to where racism, bigotry and militarized nationalism can lead when left unchecked.

On Apr. 29, I will be at the Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education in Suffern to present a proclamation declaring that day to be End Jew Hatred Day in the 38th Senate District and recognizing the urgent need to act against anti-Semitism, which the Holocaust Museum and other groups are now describing as Jew-hatred. Appropriately, this event is just one day after Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Recently, I took some time in Albany to visit “The Courage to Remember,” an exhibit on the Holocaust created by the Simon Wiesenthal Center that my colleague, state Sen. Anna Kaplan, sponsored to be displayed in the Legislative Office Building for a week. 

With the number of Holocaust survivors decreasing each year, we are losing a vital link to this history, and younger generations are increasingly uninformed or misinformed about the Holocaust. Shockingly, at least one survey of New Yorkers ages 18 to 39 revealed that 28 percent thought the Holocaust was a myth or had been exaggerated and 19 percent believed Jews caused the Holocaust.

Exhibits like this, and local institutions like the Rockland Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education, are vital to ensuring that New Yorkers understand the horrors of the Holocaust so they are never repeated.

 State Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick
38th Senate District

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