Sunset this evening, April 7, marks the beginning of one of the darkest but most important commemorations on the calendar: Yom HaShoah, which is also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Six million Jewish men, women and children were murdered at the hands of the Nazi regime in Germany and its collaborators.
It happened less than 100 years ago, but tragically, our memory of the Holocaust is beginning to fade. In 2019, Toronto’s Azrieli Foundation published a study that revealed that more than half of Canadians – and two-thirds of young Canadians – do not know that six million Jewish people were murdered during the Holocaust.
We must not allow these memories to fade, especially as Anti-Semitism is on the rise. Around the world over the past 10 years, we’ve seen just how quickly and forcefully hate, intolerance, and fascism can permeate our societies and our governments.
Here in our country, Statistics Canada reported late last month that hate crimes continue to rise, and that hate crimes against Jewish people remain among the most common.
It is not enough to passively hope that hate disappears and that the Holocaust is never repeated. To protect our future, we must honestly keep facing our past.
Never Again. Never Forget.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
First Vice-President/Treasurer, OPSEU/SEFPO