tv President Trump Pledges to Confront Anti- Semitism CSPAN April 25, 2017 12:43pm-1:49pm EDT
even as we continue to provide robust coverage of this white house, as we would regard as it was president of the united states. that's what we'll continue, after the dinner and in years to come. >> jeff mason as president of the white house associations -- correspondents dinner. thank you. >> my pleasure. >> and life coverage of the white house correspondents' dinner begins saturday at 9:30 p.m. eastern time. spirit today in the capitol rotunda lawmakers mark the holocaust museum national days of remembrance. president donald trump delivered remarks during the ceremony. >> survivors of the holocaust, museum friends, distinguished guests, welcome to the ceremony and this magnificent rotunda. some ask why we remember the holocaust in this hall of democracy in the capital of the
free world, or for that matter why is there a holocaust museum on a national mall? the answer lies in the fact that this great country was founded on an idea, one of the most consequential ideas in human history. that idea is represented in this adjusted space and engraved in one entrance to the museum where visitors encounter some of the most important words ever written about our national values. they begin, we hold these truths to be self evident. the declaration of independence was perhaps the very first human rights proclamation and universal freedom is at the heart of our democracy. this house of the democracy is situated at one end of the mall, and at the other end sits the lincoln memorial.
midway between is our museum, whose lesson stand as a cautionary tale in stark contrast to the rest of the mall. as one u.s. senator said shortly after the museum opened, the washington monument has never looked quite so beautiful as it does now as it stands next to the holocaust museum. so the holocaust teaches us that freedom is fragile and that each of us must be vigilant in protecting it. with freedom comes responsibility. why martin germany was in advanced education nation with a democratic constitution and a free press. that's why the challenge to civilization that the nazis represented reminds us that it is not enough to cherish our national ideals. we must be everywhere at human nature and constantly worth to
advance those ideals. sometimes we must fight and sacrifice for those ideals, over 16 million americans fought in world war ii and more than 400,000 gave the ultimate sacrifice in order to defeat nazi-ism, and fascism. as we watch the flag a of each f the u.s. army divisions that liberated the concentration camps entered the rotunda, we remember the brave young soldiers who freed europe come into the holocaust and preserved american democracy. to paraphrase general dwight eisenhower stunned reaction upon seeing the newly liberated camp, it's important to know not only what we are fighting for, we must also know what we are fighting against. so the young servicemen and women who will shortly present these divisional flags remind us
of a catastrophic events of the past and the daunting challenges of the present. on this day of remembrance we remember the victims and we remember those who liberated them. and we must also remember that today our world faces new threats and a new extremist ideology, and that young americans are yet again on the frontlines of freedom. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the presentation of the flags of the united states army liberating divisions, followed by the national colors. ♪ >> first infantry division.
♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ thro' the perilous fight ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched ♪ were so gallantly streaming ♪ and the rockets red glare ♪ the bombs bursting in air ♪ gave proof through the night ♪ that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ o'er the land of the free ♪ and the home of the brave?
ladies and gentlemen, ambassador ron dermer of the state of israel. [applause] >> distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and above all the survivors and their families who are here with us today. this is the first holocaust remembrance day without a man -- the world never to forget. the gentle voice and towering constant are no longer here to remind us, to teach us, to challenge us and to inspire us but his powerful words remain with us. perhaps the most powerful of all was his insight that the
opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. like so much else during the holocaust, words like love, hate and indifference took on a sharper meaning. the holocaust laid bare, the tiny manageable -- the unimaginable -- all those who ordered, planned and carried out the final solution. it unleashed the horrors of the gas chambers, the cruelty of mingling and the blood loss of willing executioners who filled mass graves across europe. the holocaust also revealed how deep the love of a parent, a child, a brother, a sister, a friend, neighbor, and even a stranger could be. there was a schindler, a
wallenberg, a sugihara. there was american prisoner of war master sergeant edmund who in a single moment of courageous defiance saved 200 jewish american soldiers, and there were thousands more righteous among the nation arrest their life to save jews. the holocaust also gave new meaning to the word indifferen indifference. indifference. in 1944, jewish leaders pleaded with the allied powers, at a time when as many as 10,000 jews were being gassed to death, every day in auschwitz, a u.s. official infamously responded that such bombing, quote, might provoke even more vindictive action by the germans. allied leaders knew of the
holocaust as early as 1942. millions might have been saved had action been taken sooner, but action wasn't taken. the brave american soldiers who liberated broken wall, dachau, and other concentrated camps saved many thousands but they arrived too late for many millions. ladies and gentlemen, much is unique about the holocaust. the holocaust is unique because all jews were targeted for extermination. and because that extermination was systematically planned and methodically executed. the holocaust is unique because this extermination was an end in itself a not merely a means to an end. and the holocaust is unique because of the unique hatred that it unleashed, hatred towards the jews that has proven still malleable and resilient
across the ages and around the globe. but one thing that is not unique about the holocaust was the worlds indifference to suffering. suffering. a world that turned its back on the jews has also turned its back on many others. a world that promise never again to sit idly by, sat badly by come in cambodia, in rwanda, in sudan, and elsewhere. history showed that indifference has been the exception not the rule. the exception had been the decisions like the one president trump made to respond to a chemical attack by the assad regime against innocent men, women, and children. that decision was a defiance of indifference, and its evil triumphs when good men do
nothing. we should all seek to live in a world that defies indifference. those contemplating evil should know that they will face more than the soft power of self-righteous condemnations and feel-good hashtags. they should know that they will face the hard power of a civilized world prepared to use military might to confront barbarism. .. while it's not our responsibility to finish the work, we are not free to desist from that work either.
for the jewish people, the difference of the world during the holocaust must never be forgotten. we must remember, 75 years ago, we were a stateless and powerless people who begged in vain for presidents and prime ministers to come to our rescue. we must remember that as the jews of europe were being cast in the oven, those fleeing the flames had no refuge. we must remember one and a half million jewish children were murdered in and in different world. the jewish people must always remember, for then we will better appreciate the meaning of israel. the country i am privileged to represent here today. on holocaust remembrance day, more than any other day, israel is the jewish people's defiance
of an indifferent world. for 2000 years we prayed and dreamed returned to our homeland, restore sovereignty and return to jerusalem. we kept that dream alive despite history throwing us every evil under the sun. a half-century before the holocaust, one force that propelled modern zion was that determination to make that dream a reality in a world indifferent to anti-semitism. the holocaust, ladies and gentleman, turned to that determination into a sacred mission to defy the world in difference, establish a jewish state and secure the jewish future. for 69 years they have defined the world in difference by gathering our exiles from the four corners of the earth, by
transforming a barren land into a global technological power, and by building a vibrant democracy that stands as a beacon of freedom, decency and compassion in a dark and cruel region. above all, israel has defied the world in difference by transforming a powerless people marked for annihilation into a sovereign nation capable of defending itself. so today, let us remember the love, the hate, and the indifference. let us heed the word of leviticus. do not stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor. let us work for a world that defies indifference. may israel continue to defy indifference.
on this day, above all days, israel pledges to stand strong and proud, remembering the past, grateful for the presence, and more determined than ever to build a brilliant future. may the memory of the 6 million be blessed. [applause] [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, sarah bloomfield, director of the united states holocaust memorial museum. [applause] >> mr. vice president, distinguished guests, and above all our very cherished
holocaust survivors, 38 years ago yesterday, america's first national commemoration of the holocaust took place in this very rotunda. on april 24, 1979, the idea to build a united states holocaust museum was just that, and idea. at the time, there was a presidential commission to study how our nation should remember the holocaust. the commission, which eventually recommended the creation of an educational museum and the commemoration was chaired by allie rozelle. he spoke at every single commemoration in the early years and most recently, in 2009, and now ellie is gone.
as a tribute to his single singular leadership and all the survivors, i would like to share with you selections from his remarks of 38 years ago. friends, what does one do with such memories of fire, with so many fragments of despair? how does one live in a world which witnessed the murder of 1 million children? those of us who were there are haunted by those whose lives were turned into ashes, by those whose cemetery was the sky. i belong to a traumatized generation. jewish victims stripped of their identity and is owned by the whole world. every occupied nation, every underground movement received help from london, washington
or moscow. not the jews. they were the loneliest victim. the world knew and kept silent. and yet, when the nightmare lifted, there was no hate in the heart of those who survived, only sadness. paradoxically hope. for some reason, they were convinced that out of grief and so much suffering, a powerful message of compassion and justice would be hurt and received. they were convinced that after auschwitz, people would no longer yield the fanaticism, nations would no longer wage war and racism and anti-semitism, and class humiliation would be shamed forever.
the survivors advocated hope, not despair. their testimony contains neither rancor nor bitterness. they knew too well that hate is self debasing and vengeance is self-defeating. instead of choosing nihilism and anarchy, they chose to opt for man. instead of setting cities on fire, they enriched them. many went on to build an ancient dream of israel. they chose to remain human and to fight for human rights. we have learned certain lessons. we have learned not to be neutral in times of crisis for neutrality always helps the aggressor, never the victim. we have learned that silence is not the answer. we have learned that the opposite of love is not hatred, but indifference.
what is memory, if not a response to and against indifference. let us remember, for their sake and ours, let us remember the heroes of warsaw, the martyrs of treblinka, the children of auschwitz. they fought alone, they suffered alone, they lived alone, but they did not die alone, for something in all of us died with them. today we pledge to allie rozelle, to all the survivors and victims, we shall always remember for your sake and for ours. [applause]
i am deeply moved to stand before those who survived history's darkest hour. your cherished presence transforms this place into a sacred gathering. thank you tom bernstein, alan, sarah sarah bloomfield, and everyone at the holocaust memorial council and museum for your vital work and tireless contributions. we are privileged to be joined by israel ambassador to the united states, friend of mine. he's done a great job and said some wonderful words. the state of israel is an eternal monument to the undying strength of the jewish people. the fervent dream that burns in the hearts of the oppressed
is now filled with the breath of light and the star of david waves atop a great nation, a risen from the desert. to those in the audience who have served american uniform, our country eternally thanks you. we are proud and grateful to be joined today by veterans of the second world war who liberated survivors from the camps. your sacrifice helped save freedom for the world. for the entire world. [applause] sadly, this year marks the first day of remembrance since the passing of allie rozelle,
a great person, a great man. his absence leaves an empty space in our heart, but his spirit fills this room. it is the kind of gentle spirit of an angel who lived through hell, and whose courage still lights the path from darkness. though allie's story is very well known by so many people, it is always worth repeating. he suffered the unthinkable horrors of the holocaust. his mother and sister perished in auschwitz. he watched his father slowly dying before his eyes. he lived through an endless nightmare of murder and death, and he inscribed on our
collective conscience, the duty we have to remember that long dark night so as never to again repeat it. the survivors in this hall, through their testimony, fulfill the righteous duty to never forget and engrave into the world memory the nazi genocide of the jewish people. youyou witnessed evil, and what you saw is beyond description. , beyond any description. many of you lost your entire family, everything and everyone you loved, gone. he saw mothers and children led to mass slaughter. you saw the starvation and the torture.
you saw the organized attempt at the extermination of an entire people. , and great people, i must add. you survived the ghettos, the concentration camps and the death camps. you persevered to tell your stories. you tell of these living nightmares because despite your great pain, you believe in ellie's famous plea that for the dead and the living, we must bear witness. that is why we are here today. to remember and to bear witness, to make sure that humanity never ever forgets the nazis massacre. 6million jews, two out of
every three jews in europe were murdered in the genocide. millions more innocent people were imprisoned and executed by the nazis without mercy, without even a sign of mercy. yet even today, there are those who want to forget the past, worse still, there are those with such hate, total hate that they want to erase the holocaust from history. those who deny the holocaust are an accomplice to this horrible evil and will never be silent. we just won't. we will never ever be silent in the face of evil again.
denying the holocaust is only one of many forms of dangerous anti-semitism that continues all around the world. we have seen anti-semitism on university campuses, in the public square, and in threats against jewish citizens. even worse, it's been on display in the most sinister manner when terrorist attack jewish communities, or when aggressors threaten israel with total and complete destruction. this is my pledge to you, we will confront anti-semitism. [applause]
we will stamp out pressure, we will condemn hatred, we will bear witness, and we will act. as president of the united states, i will always stand with the jewish people, and i will always stand with our great friend and partner, the state of israel. [applause] so today we remember the 6 million jewish men, women and children whose lives and dreams were stolen from this earth. we remember the millions of other innocent victims, the nazis so brutally targeted and so brutally killed. we remember the survivors who
bore more than we can imagine paid we remember the hatred and evil that sought to extinguish human life, dignity and freedom, but we also remember the lif light that shone through the darkness. we remember sisters and brothers who gave everything to those they love, survivors like steven springfield, who in the long death march. his brother on his back. as he said, i just couldn't given. we remember the brave souls who banded together to save the lives of their neighbors, even at the risk of their own life, and we remembered those first hopeful moments of liberation where at long last the american soldiers arrived in camps in cities throughout
occupied europe, waving the same beautiful flags before us today. speaking those three glorious words, you are free. it is this love of freedom, this embrace of human dignity, this call to courage in the face of evil that the survivors here today have helped to write on to our hearts. the jewish people have endured oppression, persecution, and those who have sought and planned their destruction. yet through the suffering, they have persevered. they have thrived, and they have enlightened the world. we stand in on of the unbreakable spirit of the jewish people.
i want to close with the story enshrined in the museum that captures the moment of liberation and the final days of the war. it is the story of gerda klein , a young jewish woman from poland, some of you know her. her family was murdered by the nazis. she spent three years imprisoned in labor camps, and the last four months of the war on a terrible death march. she assumed it was over. at the end, on the eve of her 2t birthday, her hair had lost all of its color, and she weighed a mere 68 pounds, yet she had the will to live another day. it was tough.
she later recalls the moment she realized that her long-awaited deliverance had arrived. she saw a car coming toward her. many cars had driven up before, but this one was different. on its hood, in place of that wretched swastika was a bright, beautiful, gleaming white star. two american soldiers got out. one walked up to her. the first thing she said was what she had been trained to say. we are jewish, you know. then, he said so my. it was a beautiful moment after so much darkness, after so much evil.
as she took the soldier to see other prisoners, she had done something she had long forgotten, to even expect, he opened the door for her. in gerda's word, that was the moment of restoration of humanness, of dignity and of freedom, but the story does not end there. as some of you know, that young american soldier who liberated her, and who showed her such decency would soon become her husband. a year later they were married. in her words, he opened not only the door for me, but the door to my life and to my future. gerda has since spent her life telling the world of what she witnessed. she, like the survivors, were among us today, has dedicated
her life to shining a light of hope through the dark of night. your courage strengthens us. your voices inspire us, and your stories remind us that we must never ever shrink away from telling the truth about evil in our time. evil is always seeking to wage war against the innocent and to destroy all that is good and beautiful about our common humanity. evil can only thrive in darkness. what you have brought us today is so much more powerful than evil. you have brought us hope, hope that love will conquer hatred, that right will defy defeat wrong and peace will rise from
the ashes of war. each survivor here today is a beacon of light, and it only takes one light to illuminate even the darkest space. just like it takes only one truth to crush a thousand lives, and one hero to change the course of history. we know that in the end good will triumph over evil, and that as long as we refuse to close our eyes, or to silence our voices, we know that justice will ultimately prevail. so today we mourn, we remember, we pray and we pledge never again. thank you, god bless you, and god bless america. thank you very much.
united states holocaust memorial council. >> thank you, mr. president. thank you mr. vice president, distinguished guests, of course our survivors, we come together to remember because the act of remembrance must not be about memory alone. it must also educate. it must answer the question why remember. it is often been said that without understanding our past, we diminish our capacity to confront the present and shape the future. for most of you here today, the holocaust is the past. it's history, but for the survivors and for me it is
never past. it is always present memory. my parents, born in different parts of poland managed to survive the holocaust. their survival, as is true of everyone survival, was miraculous. between the two of them, they experienced and endured many mms sites. my father must have been a bold and gutsy young man and based on advice from another prisoner who told him, tell them you have a trade, lie to the ss that he was a barber. my mother managed to stay with her two sisters throughout the
ordeal. a miracle in itself. a bond of love and family that generated inner reserves of strength they desperately needed. my parents met in the chaotic moments of liberation. they were rescued by american gis from a german prison train , almost certainly destined to a fate of death, but 75 years ago they were not my parents. they were victims of the most brutal systematic assault by any state on any people in modern times. 1942 was a momentous year of history. it began with the conference outside berlin where a small group of mid to high ranking german officials met to plan
the implementation of what they call the final solution of the jewish question. there were only 15 people at the meeting. imagine that. only 15 to plan the extinction of the people. their plans focused on the establishment of extermination , the most famous being auschwitz which began its systematic killings that spring. as they were making plans and train schedules and contractors worked constructing their it's, gas chambers and crematorium's. :
murder every jew in europe. the state department had the report confirmed within three months, but, unfortunately, try to suppress the information. winword did get out, thanks to people like rabbi stephen wise, some found it hard to believe. and sadly, even today, the shocking horror of it, the scale and scope of it, the unprecedented nature of it makes the holocaust and easy target for the denial is him of anti-semites. by the end of 1942, the germans and their collaborators had murdered almost 4 million jewish
men, women, and children, and millions of others deemed undesirable based on that nazi racist ideology. among those killed that year were probably my grandparents. i do not know. i do know that my parents taught me about survival, hope and resilience, about the possibilities of human nature, good and bad and about the importance of memory. memory is a part of a special bond that our family shares. but they also taught me that memory is not enough. we must learn. we must reflect. we must question. and above all we must always act. thank you. [applause]
>> we will now begin the candle lighting ceremony, and it will be my honor to invite holocaust survivors, accompanied members of congress, to light the candles. we will be assisted in the ceremony by a sophomore at charles e smith jewish day school, and a graduate of the museums youth leadership program. bringing the lessons home. inspired by her grandmother, nessie, a holocaust survivor and museum volunteer, she hopes to become a role model and leader among youth in her community. i would like to ask senator roy
blunt to stand by the first candle. the first candle will be lit by ruth bernstein and peter. her family fled from berlin to amsterdam and eventually got out on the last ship from rotterdam to the u.s. her grandmother was denied a visa and was killed by the nazis. peter also born in berlin fled with his family to vienna, then belgium, and then vichy france. his parents were murdered in auschwitz. may i invite senator chris coons to stand by the second candle. the second candle will be lit by anya and marcel driver.
on his family was deported from poland to a soviet forced labor camp, but they were eventually able to get to ukraine where they remained until the war. marcel and his family were forced into the ghetto in poland. they later escaped. to a nearby village where they were hidden by a ukrainian family. first in a stable and later in a home. anya and marcel are both museum volunteers. thank you. senator patrick leahy, may i ask you to stand by the third candle. the candle will be lit by -- was born in romania and was deported with her family to a ghetto. later after bribing soldiers they went to another ghetto and
were helped by a local family until liberation. helena was born in kraków. her mother obtained false documentdocument from a priest r herself, and her two daughters. they lived always fearing exposure until the end of the war. rita and helena were also both volunteers at the museum. may i invite congressman david gustav to stand by the fourth candle. this candle will be lit by irene weiss and maney mandell. i read was born in czechoslovakia after being forced into a ghetto. irene and her family were deported to auschwitz where her mother and four of her siblings were gassed. irene and her sister were selected for forced labor and survived a death march.
manny and his mother were among a group of hungarian jews traded for trucks and other material in negotiations between adult eichmann and rudolf kastner, a member of the jewish rescue committee. the group was diverted for six months, and later they were able to get to switzerland. both irene and manny volunteer at the museum. thank you. congressman ed royce, may i ask you to stand by the fifth candle. the fifth candle will be lit by esther, and harry markowitz. esther was sent by her parents from germany to england on i kindred transport. her family was deported to a camp in france and later her parents were sent to auschwitz and killed.
harry was born in berlin. shortly before, harry and his family fled berlin to antwerp. later fearing he would be selected for forced labor, harry's family moved the family to brussels where they separately went into hiding until liberation. harry and esther are also museum volunteers. now i would like to ask congressman brad schneider to stand by the sixth candle. the sixth candle will be lit by marcel harnack and ray goldfarb. marcel and his family moved from paris to vichy france after the french citizenship of his romanian born parents were revoked. his family blended in with the local population, attended church and survived there until liberation. ray was born in poland,