Top Global Leaders Commemorate Holocaust, Vow to Fight Distortion, at B’nai B’rith International Event

A screenshot from Monday's event.

January 27, 2022

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas, and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas were among the top officials from across the globe who took part earlier this week in B’nai B’rith International’s annual event commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Germany, Baerbock noted, was “firmly committed to preserving the memory of the Holocaust — today and in the future. We will shoulder our responsibilities, and we will keep facing our past.”

Furthermore, she pledged, the new German government would “speak out against unfounded criticism and hate against Israel.”

Schinas commented, “Left unchallenged, Holocaust distortion nourishes antisemitism. We need to protect our societies from any attempt to rewrite history. At the same time, we must step up our efforts to fight antisemitism in all its forms, using the definition of IHRA as our starting point.”

Mayorkas — whose late mother was a Holocaust survivor — said, “We know that remembrance is every day, as is the work that must accompany it.”

The virtual event — titled “Holocaust Remembrance: Responsibilities for All Society” — included several panel discussions, with one focused on government action against Jew-hatred around the world that featured Canadian Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism and Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) Advisory Board Member Irwin Cotler, United States Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Ellen Germain, Organization of American States Commissioner to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Fernando Lottenberg, and European Commission Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life Katharina von Schnurbein.

“Antisemitism is toxic to democracies,” Cotler stated. “Holocaust distortion is toxic to democracies. We need a global constituency of conscience to combat it.”

Watch a full recording of the program here:

For more information on B’nai B’rith International, visit: bnaibrith.org