Ignorance about the Holocaust is fueling anti-Semitism. So I wrote the Never Again Education Act.
In the spring of 1945, as the war in Europe was drawing to a close, a US Army unit began the liberation of Buchenwald, one of Nazi Germany’s largest concentration camps. It was the first such camp American forces had encountered. They alerted the office of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, about what they had found.
Decades later, as part of a Congressional Delegation, I traveled to Auschwitz in the company of Holocaust survivors. To stand on those grounds and bear witnesses to the atrocities that had happened there was emotionally daunting, but a responsibility I felt compelled to fulfill.
As I walked through the concentration camp, and heard accounts of what happened there, I found myself whispering – over and over - the promise that the whole world made when those horrors first became known: “Never Again.” As a former teacher, I don’t believe I have ever heard about, or witnessed a more powerful lesson. It is one I know I will never forget.
I believe that this lack of knowledge is a danger to combatting anti-Semitism and in fact may be a contributing factor to the alarming rise in anti-Semitism that we are seeing here in the United States. In order to combat this spread of hate, we need to be proactive. I believe that starts in our classrooms. That is why I authored H.R. 943, the Never Again Education Act.