Province and survivors remember the Holocaust on Yom Ha’Shoah

Ceremony held at B.C. Legislature

A sombre ceremony at the B.C. Parliament Buildings brought Holocaust survivors and dignitaries together to remember the six million Jewish people who were murdered by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945.

Mariette Doduck (nee Rozen), is a Holocaust survivor who spoke at the ceremony.

“Hosting this event in the legislature building is not without significance,” Doduck said. “This building belongs to the people of British Columbia, to all its citizens of every race, religion, background and group. Hosting the Yom Ha’Shoah commemoration in this location sends a clear message to British Columbians that we share a collective responsibility to educate ourselves and our children about the dangers of discrimination and to work together toward a better future for all.”

Doduck shares her personal experience as a Holocaust survivor with thousands of students to teach them the dangers of discrimination.

READ ALSO: Holocaust survivor remembers Auschwitz on her 92nd birthday

In 1939, Doduck and her family were living in Brussels when they were separated and their lives were torn apart.

“We were marked for death by accident of being born Jewish,” Doduck said.

She hid in several places from hay bails to a rat-infested sewer to survive but eventually immigrated to Canada.

Thursday’s ceremony included the lighting of seven candles, some of which were lit by survivors of the Holocaust.

Six of the candles were for the six million Jewish people who were murdered during the Holocaust. The seventh was to remember others who were targeted by the Nazis, including Roma people, people of diverse sexual and gender identities, and people with disabilities.

“This is a day for us to vow in our communities with our friends and our neighbours and people of good will and all faiths to fight back and stand together because it is a moral imperative for all of us to fight xenophobia and prejudice wherever we see it,” said Minister of Education Rob Fleming. “And with fewer survivors of the holocaust to tell their stories it’s more critical than ever that we pass on these lessons to future generations. Education is one of the most powerful tools we have to combat hatred.”

READ ALSO: Holocaust survivor Philip Riteman dies at 96: ‘Better to love than hate’

Fleming said parents must have conversations with their kids to teach them values of inclusiveness and democracy. Doduck also agreed that education is an important tool to ensure the past does not repeat itself.

Premier John Horgan also acknowledged the synagogue shooting in San Diego that occurred last week as well as the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that took place over a year ago.

“On this Yom Ha’Shoah we must always remember in the presence of those who survived those horrors that today we stand with you, tomorrow we will stand with you and forever we will remember the impacts of your lives and the consequences that you have lived for so many decades,” Horgan said.

Horgan said racism, hatred and anti-Semitism is becoming normalized in society but noted that the province has a Human Right Tribunal as a symbol of the province’s unity against racism, anti-Semitism and hate.

“Today we listen to the stories of survivors and we will pass on those stories to the next generations,” Horgan said. “If we are going to be better than those who came before us, we have to do that every single day.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Avoid giving dogs ice cubes, says Greater Victoria vet

Tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer

Hungry Hearts Gala goes virtual with new mac and cheese competition

Results will be announced on Facebook live stream event

GVPL staggers reopening of three more branches in Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria

More Greater Victoria Library branches to reopen in August

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Most Read