Schakowsky Statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah)

“Today, on Yom HaShoah, Jews in Israel and around the world pause to remember the 6 million Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust. As the Representative of Illinois’ 9th District, I know the importance of this day, as our district is home to one of the largest groups of Holocaust survivors in the country and the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

“This year, the State Department, along with the Embassy of Israel and the Embassy of Poland, is honoring the legacy of Irena Sendler. Mrs. Sendler was a Polish Catholic social worker who repeatedly risked her own life to save 2,500 Jewish children during the Holocaust. Sendler disguised herself as a nurse to deliver food, clothes and medicine to Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, while using her access to smuggle Jewish children out. A member of the Zegota Polish resistance and leader of the children’s division, Sendler logged the original names of every child she saved and buried a jar with the names in a friend’s garden. In 1943, the Gestapo arrested Sendler and sentenced her to death by firing squad. She never gave up the names of the children she rescued nor her methods, despite being subjected to torture. Sendler ultimately escaped, and after the war, retrieved and unearthed the names of the children she saved in order to reunite the 2,500 children with their families.

“Sendler received the “Righteous Among the Nations” honor from Yad Vashem in 1965, and in 2003, Sendler finally received the Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest civilian decoration. Sendler was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. In 2008, I sponsored H. Con. Res. 361, which recognized Sendler’s incredible bravery, courage, and selflessness in a Congressional Resolution passed by both Houses of Congress."

“As we remember the Jews murdered during the Holocaust and the heroics of those who worked to save Jews, we are reminded we must stay vigilant in the face of rising anti-Semitism at home and abroad. The Anti-Defamation League recently reported that anti-Semitic incidents in the United States were nearly 60 percent higher in 2017 than 2016, which represents the largest single-year increase on record. While the number of domestic incidents of anti-Semitism are on a staggering rise, the United States should also be concerned with anti-Semitism around the world. I am deeply disturbed that the State Department Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism position remains unfilled.

“This Yom HaShoah, I remain firmly committed to advocating on behalf of the people of the 9th District for benefits for Holocaust survivors, comprehensive Holocaust education, and combatting anti-Semitism worldwide. The memory of those who perished in the Holocaust will not be forgotten. May they forever be for a blessing.

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    repName Jan Schakowsky  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago Office
    5533 N. Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60640
    district 9th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
    repStateABBR IL  
    repDistrict 9  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 9th  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills