Yesterday, on Holocaust Memorial Day, I visited Auschwitz in Poland, representing New York at the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.
Words alone fail to describe the experience of visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau and being there together with Holocaust survivors. Auschwitz was an unimaginable hell come to life, and it is now a symbol of what the Jewish people have endured and what this world allowed to transpire.
During this visit I met survivors and heard their stories of pain and suffering. I stood on the ground where millions of Jews and countless others were tortured and killed.
But I also learned of the hope and resilience of the Jewish people. At a time of rising anti-Semitism, the lesson of Auschwitz is especially important today.
As part of my 2020 State of the State, I have laid out a strong agenda to fight this wave of hatred. These proposals include passing a first-in-the-nation domestic terrorism law and expanding our school curriculum to make sure every child in New York is educated on diversity, tolerance and religious freedom.
New York is home to the largest Jewish community outside of Israel. When any New Yorker is attacked for their identity, it is an attack on all of us. It is our duty to speak out and combat hate whenever and wherever we encounter it. We must bear witness and remember the stories of the Holocaust, and vow to never let what happened over 75 years ago to happen again.
Ever Upward, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo