Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
January 27, 2022
Thank you, Under-Secretary-General Fleming, for that introduction. Mr. Secretary-General, Mr. President: We gather on this solemn day to honor the memory of the millions of Jews and others who perished during the Holocaust. The theme for this year – memory, dignity, and justice – is most appropriate. The act of remembering is our solemn obligation to those who perished, and it must never become a passive activity.
A few months ago, I had the great honor of rekindling the eternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. The flame illuminated a crypt filled with the ashes of Holocaust victims brought to Israel from extermination camps across Europe. It was a heart wrenching but powerful moment, symbolizing our commitment to ensuring the memory of those killed and lessons of the Holocaust continue to live on and are never forgotten. This is one reason why the United States was proud to co-sponsor the resolution put forward by Israel and Germany to combat the scourge of Holocaust denial.
Unfortunately, we have more work to do. Right now, anti-Semitism is again on the rise. And we must act to root it out – in our communities, in our countries, and in our institutions. Today, and in the future, let us recommit to confronting and countering anti-Semitism and other hate in all of its forms.
We must also act with urgency to support Holocaust survivors, who are leaving us every day. Countries where the Holocaust occurred, and where the Nazis plundered and stole, have an obligation to ensure that Holocaust survivors and their heirs receive justice through restitution and compensation. Those countries that haven’t completed this work must do so before time runs out.
All survivors of the Nazi regime should be able to live out their remaining days in dignity, security, and comfort. And all nations have some influence and leverage they can put to use toward these ends. We must be champions of justice for Holocaust survivors and their heirs. We must turn remembrance into action, now and in perpetuity, to ensure we can continue to say, “Never again.”