April 19th, 2012
05:51 PM ET
President Barack Obama released a statement on Thursday honoring the Jewish day of remembrance Yom HaShoah. Hebrew for "destruction," the word "shoah" is often used in reference to the Holocaust, and Yom HaShoah is the day on the Jewish calendar commemorating the 6 million Jews who died at the hands of Nazi Germany.
"On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, I join people of all faiths across the United States, in Israel and around the world in paying tribute to all who suffered in the Shoah - a horrific crime without parallel in human history," Obama said in his statement.
Yom HaShoa, held on the 27th of Nisan on the Jewish calendar, also honors the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943.
"We stand in awe of those who fought back, in the ghettos and in the camps, against overwhelming odds. And in the year of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Raoul Wallenberg, we are humbled by the rescuers who refused to be bystanders to evil," Obama said, referencing the Swedish businessman and diplomat credited with standing up to the fascist Hungarian government while stationed in Budapest.
As Jews around the world hold vigils and name-reading ceremonies in memory of those who died, Obama called on everyone to do more to ensure that the phrase "never again" is more than just an "empty slogan."
"As individuals, we must guard against indifference in our hearts and recognize ourselves in our fellow human beings," Obama said. "As societies, we must stand against ignorance and anti-Semitism, including those who try to deny the Holocaust. As nations, we must do everything we can to prevent and end atrocities in our time."
The president said he will visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on Monday in an effort to advance these goals.