World Jewish News
Inauguration plaque of new Holocaust monument in Canada didn't mention the Jewish people nor anti-Semitism
A plaque inaugurating the new Holocaust monument in Ottawa, Canada, didn’t mention the Jewish people and made no reference to anti-Semitism, prompting a Conservative member of the Canadian parliament to raise the issue during the assembl’s question period.
The government in the meantime quickly removed the plaque. Heritage Minister Melanie Joly said it will be “replaced with language that reflects the horrors experienced by the Jewish people.”
The monument was inaugurated last Wednesday by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Originally the plaque mentioned that it commemorates the “millions of men, women and children murdered during the Holocaust” and the survivors who made it to Canada “after one of the darkest chapters in history.”
The Heritage Minister explained that the Holocaust Memorial Museum ‘’is a place in memory of six million Jews and another five million victims who were murdered during the Holocaust.’’
It is not the first time the Canadians have become embroiled in the memory of the Jewish people. Last year, shortly after taking office, Prime Minister Trudeau tweeted "in tribute to the millions of victims who were murdered in the Holocaust," on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, without mentioning the Jewish people. After receiving criticism over this, his office stressed the importance of battling anti-Semitism.
Last year, when unveiling the project of monument, Prime Minister Trudeau said: “It is important for Canadians and the rest of the world to remember the suffering and murder of millions of Jews and others in the Holocaust. We must never forget the stories of the victims, and the important lessons of the Holocaust. As Canadians and citizens of the world, we must fight the hatred and fear that once fuelled these deplorable acts, and ensure that tolerance and pluralism always triumph over anti-Semitism and racism. We must also pay tribute to the resilience of those who survived that horrific ordeal and went on to make enormous contributions here in Canada as well as many other countries around the world.”
The shape of the $6 million monument, which was designed by Studio Libeskind, echoes the Star of David, and is located near the Canadian War Museum. Until now, Canada has been the only Allied power in World War II not to have a national Holocaust memorial.