March 4th, 2024

Holocaust Remembrance Day has sombre tone as war rages on: antisemitism envoy

By The Canadian Press on January 27, 2024.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stands with Canada's Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism Deborah Lyons, Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, Conservative MP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes Michael Barrett and Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre stand during a service marking the 79th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp at the National Holocaust Memorial, in Ottawa, Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – Canada’s special envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and combating antisemitism says this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day has taken on a particularly sombre tone.

Deborah Lyons attributes the mood to a rise in antisemitism that has come as the Israel-Hamas war nears its fourth month.

Lyons says Jews in Canada and around the world remain in an extended state of mourning and are facing grief and fear as the death toll continues to rise.

She says they have had to see people deny, justify and even celebrate hostage takings and an October massacre in Israel.

Speaking at a remembrance ceremony in Ottawa this week, Lyons urged Canadians not to let the truth of the Holocaust be distorted or denied, saying it is our individual and collective responsibility to ensure it is remembered.

More than six million Jews were systematically killed by Nazis and their allies between 1933 and 1945.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2024.

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