house resolution no.72

Reps. Wittenberg, Berman, Chirkun, Garza, Hope, Kuppa, Liberati, Manoogian, Pagan, Sabo, Shannon, Sneller, Sowerby, Stone and Tate offered the following resolution:

A resolution to declare May 2, 2019, as Holocaust Remembrance Day in the state of Michigan.

Whereas, The horrors of the Holocaust should never be forgotten. The Holocaust was the state-sponsored systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during the years 1933 through 1945. This resulted in the extermination of six million Jews and their potential decedents. The world’s Jewish population was reduced by one-third. Poland, home to the largest Jewish community before World War II, lost 90 percent of its Jewish population. Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Lithuania, Bohemia, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Latvia each lost more than 70 percent of their Jewish population; and

Whereas, Millions more suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny based on their religion, including Catholic priests, Christian pastors, and Jehovah’s Witnesses; their national origin, including Poles, Soviets, Ukrainians and Sorbs; their ethnicity and culture, including the Romani people; their political beliefs, including courageous resisters and government dissidents; their physical appearance, including those with disabilities; and their sexual orientation and gender identity; and

Whereas, The history of the Holocaust allows us to reflect on the moral and ethical responsibilities of individuals, societies, and governments. It also serves as an important reminder of what can happen when we allow bigotry, hatred, and indifference to enter and conquer our societies. It is crucial to educate all citizens about the horrors of genocide and to instill values of tolerance and acceptance in our state’s ever-changing and diverse population; and

Whereas, The Michigan Legislature enacted PA 170 of 2016, which provided that the board of a school district or board of directors of a public school academy shall ensure that the school district’s or public school academy’s social studies curriculum for grades 8 to 12 includes age- and grade-appropriate instruction about genocide, including, but not limited to, the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide; and
     Whereas, PA 170 of 2016 also created the Governor’s Council on Genocide and Holocaust Education, a temporary commission, whose tasks include identifying and notifying schools about resources for teaching about genocide and the Holocaust; and to engender and coordinate events, activities, and education that will appropriately memorialize the victims of the Holocaust, such as observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the members of this legislative body declare May 2, 2019, as Holocaust Remembrance Day in the state of Michigan; and be it further

Resolved, That in honor of the victims of the Holocaust, the survivors, and their liberators, the citizens of Michigan should reflect upon this terrible event and strive to overcome hatred and intolerance through learning and remembrance.