Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

January 27, 2012 15:18 ET

Ministers Kenney and Baird Issue Statement on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 27, 2012) - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, and The Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement on the 7th annual UN International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust:

"The atrocity of the Holocaust stands out as unique in history for its cruelty, brutality and horror, for the vast scope of the Nazis' genocidal plot, and for the systematic and bureaucratic way in which it was implemented -- what philosopher Hannah Arendt called 'the banality of evil'.

"Today, on the 67th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp in occupied Poland, we remember the Holocaust's victims. Six million Jews, including 1.5-million Jewish children, lost their lives during the Holocaust. That number represents one-third of the world's Jewish population at the time. As well, millions of other European civilians were slaughtered because they belonged to groups of people deemed expendable, according to the Nazis' heinous ideology.

"Canada remains committed to fighting anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia, and to taking a leading international role in the promotion of Holocaust education and research. Canada's efforts helped lead to the development of the Ottawa Protocol on Combating Anti-Semitism.

"Next year, Canada will serve as Chair of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research. It is a role we undertake with a sense of duty and pride.

"In his speech accepting the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel said 'Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair.'

"The government encourages all Canadians to remember the victims of the Holocaust today and to honour their memory by rejecting all forms of hatred, intolerance and discrimination."

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

Contact Information

  • Candice Malcolm
    Minister's Office
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    613-954-1064

    Media Relations
    Communications Branch
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    613-952-1650
    CIC-Media-Relations@cic.gc.ca