April 23rd, 2009
01:25 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama honors Holocaust victims, calls for confrontation of evil

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The free people of the world must use the lessons of the Holocaust to confront evil, President Barack Obama said Thursday during the Holocaust Days of Remembrance ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.

"We know that evil has yet to run its course on Earth," Obama said, later adding, "May each of renew our resolve to do what must be done."

"We have the opportunity to make a habit of empathy, to recognize ourselves in each other, to commit ourselves to resisting injustice and intolerance and indifference in whatever forms they may take, whether confronting those who tell lies about history or doing everything we can to prevent and end atrocities like those that took place in Rwanda, those taking place in Darfur. That is my commitment as president, I hope that is yours as well."

Obama spoke at the annual remembrance of Nazi Germany's execution of approximately 6 million Jews during World War II. This year's theme for the commemoration established by Congress is "Never Again: What You Do Matters."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Doug, New Jersey

    A National Socialist like Obama has no place to talk about the horrific things that those of his ideology inflicted on innocent civilians of the past. DISGUSTING!!!

    April 23, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. Sara

    Like former President Reagan, President Obama chose honesty over convenience when he repeatedly pledged to recognize the Armenian Genocide. As one of hundreds of thousands of Americans of Armenian descent, I know President Obama is including the Armenian Genocide when he refers to "confronting those to tell lies about history."

    Being held back by fear of blackmail by the Turkish government is unfit for a country as great as the United States of America. Can anyone honestly imagine siding with Germany had it denied the Holocaust? Beacuse that is what Turkey is doing now – denying world history. Thankfully, historians and countries across the world are standing for what's right.

    I pray that President Obama has the courage to continue to speak the truth about ALL cases of genocide.

    April 23, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. Chuck, Tennessee

    Did he say confront evil or converse with evil?

    April 23, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. gary

    Remembering the terrible actions (and incation) of the Holocaust is important for the world, I wish we would put more importance on remembering 9/11 .

    These terrorist want another holy war and a deny that a Holocaust ever existed.

    April 23, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Well said~

    April 23, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. Minnesotan

    Confrontation with Evil? Does this mean that Obama is meeting with Dick Cheney?

    April 23, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. dori

    Another day to mark the return to American Leadership. I openly confess I was wrong to think the President wasn't ready. I was totally wrong and in fact, way off on thinking he wasn't prepared. Today's reminder of the day- "We are only bystanders if we choose to stay on the sidelines with out doing anything" and in words "what the sins and wrongs committed in the past is our inheritance" . Reminding us all that we will win at anything we so because history's knowledge gives us the advantage to not repeat past mistakes! Was Lincoln cloned? His wisdom and leadership is something in my adult life have never experienced. I'm 50 and in AWE and SHOCK but in the intellectual way! I was 5 and 7 when the Kennedy brothers and King were murdered.

    April 23, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. WIlly Brown

    #44 was quick to apologize to the holocaust survivors about the last administration.

    April 23, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. William in San Jose

    So we're going to act to end the genocide in Darfur?

    April 23, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Carl

    There was a line in here that identifies, to me, why I have a problem with many policies on both the left and right when it comes to gun control, abortion, etc.

    "We know that evil has yet to run its course on Earth," Obama said, later adding, "May each of renew our resolve to do what must be done."

    There it is: point blank. Our President, and millions of Americans, actually think we can stop evil forever.

    WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.

    I think this is why so many support banning guns forever, thinking that will stop 99% of all violent crimes and murders. Wrong again.

    The only way to remove evil is for absolute control over everyone and everything by removing everyone's freedoms. Americans will never allow that to happen EVER.

    April 23, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. Kurt C.

    He didn't seem to be for confrontation of evil last week as he yukked it up with dictators and communist strongmen.

    April 23, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. Jason

    Darfur...now there's a fight we should be engaged in. Something real, not fake/ made-up intelligence on Iraq to try to link them to 9/11.

    April 23, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. IndyVoter

    "Never Again: What You Do Matters."

    I like the theme...Let it begin with us individually and as a Nation.

    God Bless the United States of America!

    April 23, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. Louis

    I say Amen to that.

    April 23, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. Martin Schroeder

    Obama, if you want to see real evil, look in the mirror.

    April 23, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    The only problem with the so-called "Holocaust" is that two-thirds of a century later Israel is still using it as an excuse for bullying its neighbors in the mid-east–using American money and with American support–and doing its best to exterminate the people from whom Palestine was stolen–the Palestinians.

    April 23, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. Bill in California

    WALK THE TALK...MR. PRESIDENT. What will it take for YOU and your ilk to see the halocaust taking place HERE under your nose, with your approval, support and funding. I KNOW you aren't going to change your mind or your ways but at the very least acknowledge that those without a voice, still in the womb are victims to man's inhumanity and evilness too.

    April 23, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. Al, CA

    Around 1940, when Hitler still was allowing Jews to leave Europe, most were unable to leave because they had no their own state, and also because US and almost any other country was not willing to take them as refuges. Most of these Jews soon died in camps.

    April 23, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  19. Dan, TX

    Thank you Mr. President for being a true leader.

    April 23, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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