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Obama Pays Tribute to Holocaust Victims


U.S. President Barack Obama has paid tribute to the memory of the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. The president called on people worldwide to ensure that nothing like it ever happens again.

In a Holocaust Days of Remembrance ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, President Obama warned of the dangers of silence when atrocities are being committed. And he said bearing witness to such horrors is only the first step.

"To commit ourselves to resisting injustice and intolerance and indifference, in whatever forms they may take, whether confronting those who tell lies about history or doing everything we can to prevent and end atrocities like those that took place in Rwanda, those taking place in Darfur," Mr. Obama said.

Holocaust Days of Remembrance is a week-long observance, recalling the brutality of Nazi Germany and its collaborators toward Europe's Jews and others during World War II.

Mr. Obama did not name names, but said that some people still deny that the Holocaust took place.

"There are those who insist the Holocaust never happened, who perpetrate every form of intolerance-racism and anti-Semitism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism and more-hatred that degrades its victim and diminishes us all," Mr. Obama said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has often denied the Holocaust. At the Capitol Hill ceremony, Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel condemned the Iranian leader's comments this week at the United Nations Conference on Racism.

"I just came back from Geneva, where we attended an event that was incredibly offensive," Wiesel said.

Wiesel, the founding chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, objected to Mr. Ahmadinejad's remark that Israel is a "cruel, repressive and racist regime."

"And he used the solemn setting of a United Nations gathering again to insult the state of Israel in a way that no civilized person should ever do there," Wiesel said.

The Days of Remembrance ceremony also honored five Polish citizens as "Righteous Among the Nations," for rescuing Jews during the Holocaust.

The observance concluded with a Jewish prayer for the victims of the Nazi regime, led by Morris Rosen, a Holocaust survivor from Poland.

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