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

Faulty janitorial equipment likely caused Saanich school fire

Saturday morning fire damaged roof of Strawberry Vale Elementary

Greater Victoria records highest unemployment in history with 11 per cent

Past peak was 7.8 per cent more than a decade ago, according to South Island Prosperity Partnership

Garth Homer Society in Saanich turns lemons into lemonade with online programs

Victoria disability organization sets up online programs and learning tools in wake of COVID-19

Human behaviour likely to deter birds from Esquimalt Lagoon, survey suggests

More Great Blue Herons spotted, fewer mallard ducks seen

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host a trio of acts

Aaron Pritchett, Alex Cuba and Valdy will each play four shows

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read