Secretary’s Remarks: Yom HaShoah Remembrance Day (April 24, 2017)

FILE- This February/March 1945, file photo shows the entry to the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, with snow covered rail tracks leading to the camp. The book, "Human Rights After Hitler" by British academic Dan Plesch, says Adolf Hitler was put on the United Nations War Crimes Comm

Press Statement, Secretary of State, Rex W. Tillerson, Washington, DC, April 24, 2017 (Image AP)

Today on Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising – we honor the six million Jews systematically murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. We also remember all individuals targeted for persecution and death by the Nazis. This year, the State Department hosted an event, along with the Embassies of Lithuania, Japan, and Israel, to honor the memory of Chiune Sugihara, Japanese Consul to Lithuania in 1939-40. Consul Sugihara saved the lives of some 6,000 Jews and others by providing them with transit visas to Japan.

Leo Melamed, a child survivor saved by Consul Sugihara, reminded us during the event that Sugihara knew instinctively that to save lives was “the right thing to do.” Tens of thousands of Jews and others are alive today because Consul Sugihara followed that simple yet incredibly courageous dictum. We are blessed that Holocaust survivors continue to inspire us with their first-hand experiences and to steel our resolve to combat antisemitism and all forms of hatred.