27th January 2016 marked the 71st anniversary of liberation year of Auscwitz. At a ceremony at the Israeli embassy in Washington, President of the United States Barrack Obama posthumously honoured two American and two Polish people for risking their lives to save Jews during the holocaust. Righteous Among the Nations” awards were presented to the families of Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds, teacher Lois Gunden, and a Polish couple, Waler and Maryla Zbijewski.
Speaking at the event, citing the words of an American World War II soldier, he said, “We’re all Jews.”
Anti-Semitism is on the rise, we cannot deny it,” the president said during the address. He further went on to say,
“When we see Jews leaving Europe and attacks on Jewish centers from Mumbai to Kansas; when we see swastikas appear on college campuses, we must not stay silent.”
“When any Jew anywhere is targeted, we must all respond as if we are all Jewish we must all do what we can we have a responsibility, and as president I will make sure the US is leading the fight against anti-Semitism,” the president said.
Obama was welcomed warmly by Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador.
Obama’s participation of the event at the Israeli Embassy was all the more notable because it came only months after he clashed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran nuclear deal. But on Wednesday, there was little evidence of the rift.
27th of January has been designated by the United Nations as the official day of remembrance of holocaust. Holocaust is the genocide that resulted in the annihilation of six million European Jews as well as millions of others by the Nazi regime. The day was designated by the UN General Assembly Resolution on Nov, 1, 2005.