senate resolution no.116

Senators Moss, Damoose, Geiss, Polehanki, Theis and Wojno offered the following resolution:

A resolution to recognize May 5-6, 2024, as Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Whereas, The horrors of the Holocaust should never be forgotten. The Holocaust was the state-sponsored systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators from 1933-1945; and

Whereas, The Holocaust resulted in the extermination of six million Jews and their potential decedents. The world’s Jewish population was reduced by one-third; and

Whereas, Poland, home to the largest Jewish community before World War II, lost 90 percent of its Jewish population. Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Lithuania, Bohemia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Latvia each lost more than 70 percent of their Jewish population; and

Whereas, Millions more suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny based on their religion, including Catholic priests, Christian pastors, and Jehovah’s Witnesses; their national origin, including Poles, Soviets, Ukrainians and Sorbs; their ethnicity and culture, including the Romani people; their political beliefs, including courageous resisters and government dissidents; their physical appearance, including those with disabilities; and their sexual orientation and gender identity; and

Whereas, The same conspiracies, hatred, and acts of cruelty against Jews still persist today. On October 7, 2023, 1,200 Jews and others in Israel were slaughtered and hundreds more were taken hostage, including survivors of the Holocaust. This was the single most violent event targeting Jews since 1945 and unleashed public displays of Jewish hatred not seen in generations; and

Whereas, In 2023, The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported that antisemitic incidents increased 140 percent, including an increase in assaults by 45 percent, harassment by 184 percent, and acts of vandalism by 69 percent. This data amounts to the highest level of antisemitism in the 45 years these incidents have been tracked, as well as a significant increase over 2022 which set the previous record for antisemitic incidents; and

Whereas, The history of the Holocaust must instruct the moral and ethical responsibilities of individuals, societies, and government when confronting antisemitism. It serves as an important reminder of what can happen when we allow bigotry, hatred, and indifference to enter and conquer our societies in moments of peril for Jewish populations. These lessons must not expire; and

Whereas, The state of Michigan, through PA 170 of 2016, requires that the social studies curriculum for grades 8 to 12 includes age- and grade-appropriate instruction about genocide so students learn about past atrocities, factually and comprehensively. This education provides future generations the tools to ensure the evils in history are not repeated; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate, That the members of this legislative body recognize May 5-6, 2024, as Holocaust Remembrance Day; and be it further

Resolved, That in honor of the victims of the Holocaust, the survivors, and their liberators, the citizens of Michigan should reflect upon this terrible event and strive to overcome hatred and intolerance through both learning and remembrance.