At a national Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa yesterday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave a keynote address to the Jewish community and honoured the families of Karolina Juszczykowska and Klass and Jetske Dreijer, two of the Righteous Among the Nations.
Juszczykowska, a Pole, was executed by the Nazis for harbouring Jews. Her granddaughter, Chris Francis, lives in Cornwall, Ont. The Dreijers were a Dutch couple who helped save Jozeph de Haan, a Dutch Jew, from the Nazis. Michael de Haan, Jozeph’s son, travelled from Seattle to Ottawa to participate in honouring the Dreijers’ descendants, who live in Ottawa, as newly recognized Righteous Among the Nations.
The full text of Harper’s speech follows.
Survivors, honoured veterans, Canadian descendants of the Righteous Among the Nations, distinguished guests, fellow parliamentarians, ladies and gentlemen.
Six million. Six million innocent men, women and children. We remember this number.
It reminds us of the sheer scale of the Holocaust, but one aspect of its singular place in the history of crimes against humanity. Above all, we remember the individuals included in this number.
We remember that each one has a name – precious, irreplaceable, deserving of honour.
And so we gather as a nation on this solemn day.
Today. we honour each and every one of the six million who were murdered in the Holocaust.
We pay tribute to the courage and solidarity of the Jewish People in that time of gravest peril.
We stand in awe of the Righteous.