We must all call out antisemitism

January 26, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

To mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, Charlotte-Anne Malischewski, Interim Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issues the following statement:

This Saturday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where more than one million people were killed during the Holocaust.

On this day, the Canadian Human Rights Commission joins the world in remembering the more than 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Amidst an alarming surge of Holocaust denial and distortion, we recall that the Holocaust was the systematic persecution and annihilation of approximately two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945.

We also recall the millions of other victims of persecution and murder, including ethnic Poles, Roma and Sinti populations, Soviet citizens, 2SLGBTQQIA+ persons, people with disabilities, and political and religious dissidents. The total death toll of all groups targeted by the Nazi regime is 11 million people.

As we commit to preserving the memory of the Holocaust, we recognize and call for action on the continued threat posed by antisemitism here in Canada.

The Commission is deeply concerned by the dramatic rise in antisemitism in Canada since October 7, 2023. We must recognize that for every reported incident of hate, discrimination, or violence, there are many more frightening incidents that go unreported. Many people experiencing hate in Canada are bearing the burden in silence.

When hate manifests in our communities, it is a threat to public safety, democracy, and human rights. Hate divides us and turns us against each other.

Without accountability, hateful behaviour that has been appallingly normalized online is now more frighteningly common in person.

A proactive anti-hate regime has been necessary for years. It is now desperately needed.

As we mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, let us all stand together to end antisemitism and all forms of hate.

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The Commission is Canada’s National Human Rights Institution accredited under the UN Paris Principles, and works to promote and protect human rights within Canada.

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