Obama pays tribute to Holocaust victims

President Obama on Sunday commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day by vowing to “to stand in the way of any tyrant or dictator who commits crimes against humanity.”

“While this is a time for mourning and reflection, it is also the time for action,” the president said in a statement. “On this day, we recall the courage, spirit, and determination of those who heroically resisted the Nazis, exemplifying the very best of humanity. And like these courageous individuals, we must commit ourselves to resisting hate and persecution in all its forms. The United States, along with the international community, resolves to stand in the way of any tyrant or dictator who commits crimes against humanity, and stay true to the principle of ‘Never Again.’

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“By remaining vigilant against those who seek to perpetrate violence and murder, we honor those we lost during one of the darkest periods in human history,” Obama added. “And we keep their memory alive for generations to come.”

Obama will have to deal with myriad international human rights issues in his second term, most urgently in Syria, where at least 60,000 have been killed and millions displaced by a conflict between rebel groups and the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

Some lawmakers, led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), have criticized the administration for not acting strongly enough on behalf of the opposition forces, while others are reticent to involve the U.S. in another foreign conflict.

Sunday’s statement from the President didn’t single out any specific ongoing atrocities, but rather focused on “the memories of the 6 million Jews and millions of other innocent victims whose lives were tragically taken during the Holocaust over sixty years ago.”

“Those who experienced the horrors of the cattle cars, ghettos, and concentration camps have witnessed humanity at its very worst and know too well the pain of losing loved ones to senseless violence,” said Obama.