This week we marked the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a solemn day as we remembered the six million Jewish women, men and children who were murdered during the Holocaust and many others who were victimized by the Nazis and their collaborators. International Holocaust Remembrance Day serves as a poignant reminder of the senseless targeting of the Jewish people and the horrific atrocities that occurred just less than a century ago.
To commemorate the day and honour Holocaust victims, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center hosted a series of programs throughout the day that included education, survivor testimony and an evening candle-lighting ceremony. While we wish we could deliver these programs in-person -- as has been done in past years -- the virtual format allowed survivors to share their testimonies with a broader audience and allowed all Canadians to join the Jewish community in remembering the victims of the Holocaust and vowing Never Again.
On January 27th, more than 300 classrooms heard Holocaust survivor Andy Réti's story of love, survival and resilience through a program hosted by FSWC and the Canadian War Museum; some 100 members of the Ontario Provincial Police learned about the history of the Holocaust and listened to Holocaust survivor Max Eisen's testimony; and in the evening, more than a 2,000 people virtually attended our special International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration to honour those who perished in the Holocaust and the survivors. We thank our partners, keynote speakers, countless dignitaries and everyone across the country and around the world who joined us in solidarity and who reaffirmed a commitment to never forget the Holocaust and the importance of standing up against hate.
If you missed Wednesday's International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration, you are invited to watch a recording below.