Pelosi, Bipartisan Congressional Delegation Conclude Poland Visit to Mark 75 Years Since Liberation of Auschwitz
Krakow, Poland – Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a bipartisan Congressional delegation concluded a visit to Poland to mark 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Today, the delegation toured Auschwitz-Birkenau, visited the Jewish Community Center of Krakow and paid respects to victims and survivors at the Krakow Ghetto Wall. The delegation will now proceed to Israel for additional commemorations of this solemn anniversary. Upon conclusion of the visit to Poland, Speaker Pelosi issued the following statement:
“Our delegation was deeply moved by our visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. We came to commemorate 75 years since its liberation and to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that the horrors of the Holocaust will never be repeated. The sheer magnitude of the evil perpetrated against Jews, Roma, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities and others almost defies comprehension.
“We were joined in laying wreaths at the ‘Death Wall’ outside Block 11 at Auschwitz by Polish House Speaker Elzbieta Witek and Polish Senate Speaker Tomasz Grodzki. Our delegation thanks both Speaker Witek and Speaker Grodzki for the bipartisan hospitality extended from our arrival to our departure from Poland.
“In the afternoon, our delegation was honored to visit Krakow’s bustling Jewish Community Center (JCC), where we saw the hope and resurgence of Krakow’s Jewish community. Our visit was enriched by our conversation with JCC Executive Director Jonathan Ornstein, Rabbi Avi Baumol, and JCC Member Zofia Radzikowska, a Holocaust survivor and stalwart of Krakow’s Jewish community.
“Lastly, our delegation visited the last remaining portion of the Ghetto Wall in Krakow’s Jewish quarter where our delegation laid roses to honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
“Our delegation is grateful to U.S. Consul General Patrick Slowinski and the good offices of our Embassy for their efforts in facilitating our visit.
“Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, we renew our commitment to speak out against anti-Semitism and discrimination whenever and wherever it presents itself. Never again.”
Source: NANCY PELOSI – SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE , January 21, 2020.
Title Image: Speaker of the Sejm [Polish Parlament] Elzbieta Witek welcomed in Poland Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. Source: PL Parlament / Twetter.com
From the PCO editorial office:
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, speaking in KL Auschwitz, a German death camp in occupied Poland, recognized the devil as the perpetrator of the tragedy. Mentioning the victims did not mention the Poles for whom Hitler built KL Auschwitz …The 728 Poles were taken to the camp in the first transport on June 14, 1940… – Shame on you …
Waldemar Glodek, PCO
Nor did V/P Mike Pence:
Remarks by Vice President Pence
at the Fifth World Holocaust Forum
3:24 P.M. IST
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: President Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Your Majesties, Presidents, Excellencies, honored survivors and distinguished guests: It is deeply humbling for me to stand before you today, on behalf of the American people, as we mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
On this occasion, here on Mount Herzl, we gather to fulfill a solemn obligation — an obligation of remembrance: to never allow the memory of those who died in the Holocaust to be forgotten by anyone, anywhere in the world.
The word “remember” appears no fewer than 169 times in the Hebrew Bible — for memory is the constant obligation of all generations.
And today we pause to remember what President Donald Trump rightly called the “dark stain on human history” — the greatest evil ever perpetuated by man against man in the long catalogue of human crime.
The faces of a million and a half children reduced to smoke under a silent sky for the crime of having a single Jewish grandparent. The night Elie Wiesel called “seven times sealed” consumed the faith of so many then, and challenges the faith of so many still.
Today we remember what happens when the powerless cry for help and the powerful refuse to answer.
The town’s name was Oświęcim. As part of their plan to destroy the very existence of Polish culture, the Nazis gave Polish towns German names. And this one they called Auschwitz.
When soldiers opened the gates of Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, they found 7,000 half-starved, half-naked prisoners, hundreds of boxes of camp records that documented the greatest mass murder in history. Before the war was over, in its five years of existence, more than 1.1 million men, women, and children would perish at Auschwitz.
As my wife and I can attest firsthand, from this past year, one cannot walk the grounds of Auschwitz without being overcome with emotion and grief. One cannot see the piles of shoes, the gas chambers, the crematoriums, the lone boxcar facing the gate to the camp, and those grainy photographs of men, women, and children being sent to their deaths without asking: “How could they?”
Today we mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve. We remember the names and the faces and the promise of the 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.
Today we also pay tribute to those who survived, who all these years have borne witness to that evil and have served mankind by their example. (Applause.)
And today we honor and remember the memory of all the Allied forces, including more than 2 million American soldiers, who left hearth and home, suffered appalling casualties, and freed a continent from the grip of tyranny.
And, finally, we pay tribute to the memory of those non-Jewish heroes who saved countless lives — those the people of Israel call the “righteous among the nations.”
In an age of indifference, they acted. In an age of fear, they showed courage. And their memory and their example should kindle anew the flame of our hearts to do the same in our time. (Applause.)
We must be prepared to stand as they did against the wave of their times. We must be prepared to confront and expose the vile tide of anti-Semitism that is fueling hate and violence all across the world. And we must stand together. (Applause.)
In that same spirit, we must also stand strong against the leading state purveyor of anti-Semitism, against the one government in the world that denies the Holocaust as a matter of state policy and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. The world must stand strong against the Islamic Republic of Iran. (Applause.)
And, finally, we must have the courage to recognize all the leaders and all the nations that are gathered here that, today, we have the responsibility and the power to ensure that what we remember here today can never happen again. (Applause.)
Mr. Prime Minister, as we honor and remember the 6 million Jewish martyrs of the Holocaust, the world can only marvel at the faith and resilience of the Jewish people, who just three years after walking in the valley of the shadow of death, rose up from the ashes to reclaim a Jewish future and rebuild the Jewish State. (Applause.)
And I’m proud to say, as Vice President of the United States, that the American people have been with you every step of the way since 1948. (Applause.) And so we will remain.
As President Trump declared in his historic visit to Jerusalem, the bond between our two peoples is “woven together in the fabric of our hearts.” And so it shall always be. (Applause.)
Today we remember not simply the liberation of Auschwitz but also the triumph of freedom — a promise fulfilled, a people restored to their rightful place among the nations of the Earth. And we remember — we remember the long night of that past, the survivors and the faces of those we lost, the heroes who stood against those evil times. And today we gather nearly 50 nations strong, here in Jerusalem, to say with one voice: Never again. (Applause.)
Through pogroms, persecutions, and expulsions in the ghettos, and finally, even through the death camps, the Jewish people clung to an ancient promise that He would “never leave you or forsake you” and that he would leave this people to inherit the land that he swore to your ancestors that he would give them.
And so, today, as we bear witness to the strength and the resilience and the faith of the Jewish people, so too we bear witness to God’s faithfulness to the Jewish people. (Applause.)
May the memory of the martyrs be enshrined in the hearts of all humanity for all time.
May God bless the Jewish people, the State of Israel, the United States, and all the nations gathered here.
And may He who creates peace in the heavens create peace for us and for all the world.
Oseh shalom bimromav. Hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu. V’al kol Yisrael V’imru. Amen. (Applause.)
Source: THE WHITE HOUSE – REMARKS, January 23, 2020.
Neither did President Donald Trump a year ago:
Presidential Message on
On April 27, 1945, a young soldier of the 12th Armored Division of the United States Army wrote these astonishing words to his wife in the United States: “Although I may never talk about what I have witnessed today. I will never forget what I have seen.” Aaron A. Eiferman’s division was moving to a new position near Dachau when they “came across a prison camp.” His historic account, like all subsequent descriptions, lacked the words to adequately convey the horror and the suffering that occurred at Dachau and in the other concentration and death camps of the Holocaust.
The Third Reich, and its collaborators, pursued the complete elimination of the entire Jewish people. Six million Jews were systematically slaughtered in horrific ways. The Nazis also enslaved and murdered Slavs, Roma, gays, people with disabilities, religious leaders, and others who courageously opposed their cruel regime. The brutality of the Holocaust was a crime against men, women, and children. It was a crime against humanity. It was a crime against God.
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we hold in our hearts the memory of every man, woman, and child who was abused, tortured, or murdered during the Holocaust. To remember these men and women—those who perished and those who survived—is to strive to prevent such suffering from happening again. Any denial or indifference to the horror of this chapter in the history of humankind diminishes all men and women everywhere and invites repetition of this great evil. We remain committed to the post-Holocaust imperative, “Never Again.” “Never Again” means not only remembering—in a profound and lasting way—the evils of the Holocaust, but it also means remembering the individual men and women in this Nation, and throughout the world, who have devoted their lives to the preservation and security of the Jewish people and to the betterment of all mankind.
Source: THE WHITE HOUSE STATEMENTS & RELEASES, January 27, 2019.