President Obama marked this year’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday by mourning the genocide’s victims and encouraging people to fight bigotry.
The holiday is scheduled on Jan. 27, the date the Nazi’s largest death camp, Auschwitz, was liberated. The camp was liberated 69 years ago.
“On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Michelle and I join the American people and our friends in the State of Israel and around the world as we reaffirm our obligation not just to bear witness, but to act. May God bless the memory of the millions, and may God grant us the strength and courage to make real our solemn vow: Never forget. Never again,” Obama said in a statement.
Obama said the Holocaust proves people must choose “to confront bigotry and hatred in all its forms.”
People can participate in that effort, he added, by condemning attempts to deny the Holocaust’s existence and providing justice and support to its survivors.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is usually celebrated in the United States and Israel, runs from April 27 to 28 this year.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) marked the international holiday by touring the camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which are located in Poland. Cantor’s press secretary, Rory Cooper, tweeted photos of the lawmakers at the site on Monday.
No picture can do the vast scale of Birkenau justice. Haunting. pic.twitter.com/MJvUroyJhr— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) January 27, 2014
Leader Cantor and the U.S. delegation tour a barrack at Auschwitz-Birkenau. pic.twitter.com/P3i7p2gUhw— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) January 27, 2014