HARRISBURG, PA − April 12, 2018 – State Senator Andy Dinniman was joined by Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack, officials from the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition, and fellow state legislators this week in recognizing the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust.
“With every passing day, we lose more and more survivors of the Holocaust and eyewitnesses to the systematic murder of more than six million Jewish men, women, and children and millions of others,” Dinniman said. “Meanwhile, the lessons of the Holocaust and the roots of genocide in tyranny, discrimination, bigotry, and hate remain as important and as vital today as ever. We must never forget and we must ensure that future generations never forget.”
As part of Pennsylvania’s 34th Annual Civic Commemoration of the Holocaust, Dinniman, Stack, and others paid tribute to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
In attendance were Holocaust survivors Vladimir Kaganovsky, Esfir Kaganovsky, and Bluma Shapiro who led the children and grandchildren of Holocaust victims in lighting six candles in memory of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.
Dinniman, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Education Committee, discussed the importance of Holocaust education in schools.
“It’s not an easy subject for teachers. It is quite painful to talk about it, but speak we must and remember we must, or we risk such atrocities occurring again,” Dinniman said. “Our nation must continue to be a ‘city on a hill,’ a beacon of hope, and an example of what can happen when we commit to fundamental human rights.”
According to the Mark Zucker, Chair of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition, more than 95 percent of public and charter schools across the Commonwealth offer instruction on the Holocaust and related issues in their curriculum. Act 70 of 2014 encouraged schools to teach their students about the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights violations by developing guidelines and offering free resource materials and training for teachers through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
“Pennsylvania will be the leading state in the country in teaching students the lessons of the Holocaust,” Zucker said.
Dinniman also introduced Senate Resolution 298, dedicating the week of April 8 to April 15 as “Days of Remembrance for Victims of the Holocaust in Pennsylvania.” The resolution was adopted by the Senate on March 26.
Stack discussed the need for survivors to share their stories of resilience with future generations.
He called on all present to “take this message beyond our walls and into our communities.”
The last speaker at the event was Hannah Adler of Linglestown Middle School in Harrisburg. Adler was the winner of the Schwab Holocaust Essay Contest. Adler read her essay, and reminded all that, “The best way to fix hate in this world is to stop adding to it yourself.”