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2005-01-26—Cheney—Auschwitz survivors

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2005 blog


Cheney tells Auschwitz survivors U.S. is
determined to combat anti-Semitism, bigotry
,  Jan. 26, 2005

holocaust file

The United States, Israel and European allies have demonstrated "determination to oppose anti-Semitism, religious  intolerance, bigotry and genocide," U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said today (Wednesday, Jan. 26) at a reception at the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, Poland, for survivors of Auschwitz.

"We must face down hatred together," said Cheney, who was appointed by President George W. Bush to head an American delegation that will participate tomorrow in ceremonies at Auschwitz commemorating the 60th anniversary of its liberation.. "We are dedicated to the task 
at hand, and we will never forget."

The vice president recalled accompanying U.S. President Gerald R. Ford in 1975 to Auschwitz while en route  to the Helsinki summit. "It was one of those days that you never forget," he said.

He also recalled reading an account by General Dwight D. Eisenhower of his experiences as a liberator in 1945. Eisenhower—who served as President of the United States from 1953 to 1961—wrote: "I visited every nook and cranny of the camp because I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify at first hand about these things in case it ever grew up at home the belief or the assumption that the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda."

Cheney said that "Eisenhower was one of the many who were determined to let the world know what happened, and to ensure that the evidence be kept so that the terrible truth could never be forgotten or erased. 

"We have the preservation of memory at the camps themselves and for these last 60 years, we 
will have lived amongst survivors of the camps, and America and the world are grateful for your 
witness," Cheney said. "As prisoners, you saw the face of systematic merciless cruelty, that killed innocent people of many nationalities and religious backgrounds, and murdered Jews only because they were Jews. 

"But you also saw among your fellow captives great courage and acts of kindness. For six 
decades, you shared horror stories, recalling the horrors that you witnessed, keeping alive the 
memory of good people, righteous people, who did no wrong and who no man had any right to harm. 

"Today," the vice president noted, "many Holocaust survivors have children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. That, I believe, is the greatest victory of all. Evil did not have the final say. You survived terror. You have let the world know the truth, and you have preserved the memory of those who perished here."                         —Donald H. Harrison