Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement today in observance of Yom HaShoah:

“Today we remember the lives of the six million Jews and millions of others who perished under the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. We also honor those who survived, and the brave heroes who stood up against hatred and brutality, often risking their lives to save others.

“As we mourn and remember those whose lives were lost, we must not forget those survivors still among us. There are more than 100,00 Holocaust survivors in the United States, and we must do everything we can to ensure they live the remainder of their lives in dignity.

“One in four of these survivors lives in poverty. Recognizing their needs, my South Florida colleague Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and I introduced the Responding to Urgent Needs of Holocaust Survivors Act. With the Obama Administration’s announcement of a Special Holocaust Survivor Assistance Fund, I am proud to continue leading efforts to ensure we fulfill our commitment to these survivors in our community.

“Many people fleeing persecution and hatred arrived on these shores seeking freedom and a better life. Similarly, many people fled to Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. As threats against her mount, we must continue to stand strong in her defense and for the values of freedom and justice.

“As the last of the generation who witnessed one of the darkest times in history lives out their days, we must hear their stories and heed the lessons of the past. Around the world, and even in my own Congressional district, we see anti-Semitism on the rise. As recently as this week, a local synagogue was targeted by an individual allegedly intending to cause mass casualties. As a nation, we must unite against fear-mongering and denigrating any group of people because of their faith or their background. We must pledge to stop bigotry and hatred from driving our actions and our words, and we must join to say never again.”