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President Obama at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

24 April 2012
President Obama at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

President Obama at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

On April 23, President Obama spoke at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and said:

“I say this as a President, and I say it as a father.  We must tell our children about a crime unique in human history.  The one and only Holocaust -- six million innocent people -- men, women, children, babies -- sent to their deaths just for being different, just for being Jewish.  We tell them, our children, about the millions of Poles and Catholics and Roma and gay people and so many others who also must never be forgotten.  Let us tell our children not only how they died, but also how they lived -- as fathers and mothers, and sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters who loved and hoped and dreamed, just like us.   
 
We must tell our children about how this evil was allowed to happen -- because so many people succumbed to their darkest instincts, and because so many others stood silent.  Let us also tell our children about the Righteous Among the Nations.  Among them was Jan Karski, a young Polish Catholic, who witnessed Jews being put on cattle cars, who saw the killings, and who told the truth, all the way to President Roosevelt himself.
 
Jan Karski passed away more than a decade ago.  But today, I’m proud to announce that this spring I will honor him with America’s highest civilian honor -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  (Applause.)
 
We must tell our children.  But more than that, we must teach them.  Because remembrance without resolve is a hollow gesture.  Awareness without action changes nothing.  In this sense, "never again" is a challenge to us all -- to pause and to look within.”