Administration

Biden, Harris meet with Holocaust survivors to mark annual remembrance day

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President Biden and Vice President Harris are marking the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by meeting with survivors of the Holocaust.  

A White House official said Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff met with Ruth Cohen, an Auschwitz survivor, on Wednesday in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.   

The private meeting took place in the vice president’s ceremonial office, the official said, and also included Cohen’s husband, daughter and granddaughter. Harris then departed for a trip to Honduras early Thursday morning.  

“During the meeting, the Vice President discussed the President’s and her commitment to combatting anti-Semitism and hatred wherever it exists,” the White House official said. “The Vice President also discussed the importance of staying vigilant and teaching our children the truth about the horrors of the Holocaust.” 

Biden also marked the day with a lengthy statement Thursday morning that said he would meet with Bronia Brandman, an Auschwitz survivor who lost her parents and four siblings in the concentration camp, in the Oval Office.  

“Today, she’ll share her story at the White House—and speak for millions who never got the chance,” Biden said.  

“Today, and every day, we have a moral obligation to honor the victims, learn from the survivors, pay tribute to the rescuers, and carry forth the lessons of last century’s most heinous crime,” Biden said. “From the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, to a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, we are continually and painfully reminded that hate doesn’t go away; it only hides.” 

The president also stressed the need for the international community to “push back against attempts to ignore, deny, distort, and revise history” about the Holocaust. He referenced a U.N. resolution adopted last week that condemned Holocaust denial.    

The United Nations General Assembly in 2005 designated Jan. 27, the day that Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated in 1945, as the annual remembrance day.  

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