As Auschwitz Liberation Anniversary Approaches, US Government Underlines Commitment to Holocaust Survivors
With the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp less than two weeks away, senior State Department diplomats on Wednesday outlined the US commitment to remembering the Nazi Holocaust and aiding survivors of the slaughter.
“I wish I could say that humanity had learned its lessons from the Holocaust and that the lessons were permanent, and that we have moved on,” Cherrie Daniels — special envoy for Holocaust issues in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs — remarked at a special briefing in Washington, DC. “But I think the recent resurgence of antisemitism around the world and here at home is a reality that we cannot deny or ignore.”
Daniels emphasized the importance placed by US policy on material restitution to Holocaust victims.
“We’re committed to help the 80,000 or so survivors of the Holocaust who live here in the United States achieve a measure of justice […] when it comes to the material losses suffered during the Holocaust,” she told reporters. “We develop and implement US policy to return Holocaust-era assets to their rightful owners, compensation for wrongs committed during the Holocaust.”
Daniels — who will be a member of the US delegation at the Auschwitz commemoration ceremonies in Poland on Jan. 27 — also highlighted the American commitment to helping Jewish communities around the world, “especially in Europe, protect Jewish cultural and religious sites.”
Said Daniels: “As you know, because of the Holocaust, there are many cemeteries, synagogues, and other Jewish properties throughout Europe which don’t even have the smallest of Jewish communities remaining to care for them. So this is an issue we also address with the governments of those countries.”
Elan Carr — the US special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism — told the same briefing that there were three “primary sources” for the current rise in antisemitism.
“[They are] the far-right ethnic supremacists, the radical-left anti-Zionists, and the militant Islamists,” Carr noted. “It is a fundamental principle of our work that we do not rank these sources in importance nor do we minimize any of them. All three are dangerous and all must be combated.”