California Governor Schwarzenegger delivered remarks today for Yom Hashoah, which commemorates the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust. The Governor also issued a proclamation naming April 15 – April 22 as “Days of Remembrance.” Schwarzenegger is seen at at the Yom Hashoah Commemoration at Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles .
Photo by Duncan McIntosh
Office of Governor Schwarzenegger
Governor of the State of California
It is almost unfathomable to think that just sixty years ago, the Nazis mesmerized a nation in support of their wicked ambitions. The Nazi regime and its collaborators targeted Jews for elimination, with the very young and old often the first victims. During their terrifying reign, more than six million European Jews were murdered when World War II came to an end. Among that number, more than one million were children.
The Nazis all but decimated European Jewry, while also persecuting and killing Gypsies, Poles, homosexuals, political dissidents, the handicapped, and millions of others they perceived to be unworthy of life. However, amidst the depths of depravity also appeared a different side of humanity – one of courage where Jews were saved by their neighbors. The Protestant Huguenot population in the French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon hid Jewish children from seizure; the German industrialist Oskar Schindler saved more than a thousand Jews in his business; and a Jewish family was saved by their Muslim neighbors in Albania.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Council has done a tremendous job to educate Americans about the history of the Holocaust. This year, the Museum has designated “Children in Crisis: Voices from the Holocaust” as the theme for the 2007 Days of Remembrance week in memory of the victims, and to honor those who attempted to save their lives.
Though nothing can change the past, we must learn the lessons of the Holocaust so as not to repeat its horrors. These lessons should be impressed in our minds as not merely something we read in a history book, but rather as something that shocks and stirs our souls. And we must continue to draw attention to and do everything we can to stop current-day horrors such as the genocide in Darfur. To that end, we mark the first day of this week-long commemoration, April 15, as Yom Hashoah, the Day of Remembrance.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim April 15 – April 22, 2007 as “Days of Remembrance” in California.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have here unto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 6th day of April 2007.