Mr. Speaker, yesterday for the first time, we marked Holocaust Memorial Day—Yom ha-Shoah. Indeed, on November 7, Bill C-459 received royal assent after being unanimously passed by the House.
The Shoah is the culmination of a degrading policy to exterminate clearly identified groups, including Jews of course, but also Gypsies and homosexuals. During their domination, the Nazis and their allies imprisoned, tortured and killed six million people.
The Shoah is also an episode that could have been avoided, had it not been for the complicit silence of the populations of the time and the indifference of democratic governments, which should have acted sooner to stop Hitler and his servile followers.
Unfortunately, the lessons of the Shoah were not fully learned, as we were reminded with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, where 800,000 people were massacred over a period of 12 weeks.
In light of the resurgence of anti-Semitism all over the world, it is everyone's duty to fight intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism everywhere and always. Let us hope that this first Holocaust Memorial Day will allow us to reflect on this and, more importantly, will convince us to take immediate action.