Press Release

AFT’s Weingarten Speaks at Holocaust Remembrance Conference

For Release: 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Contact:

Janet Bass
202-879-4554
jbass@aft.org

"Without voices calling out marginalization and debunking stereotyping, extremists prevail. The recent genocides in Darfur, Rwanda and Bosnia, and the atrocities in Nigeria by Boko Haram, show that the lessons of the Holocaust are going unheeded, and that is tragic."
 

KRAKOW, Poland—The lessons of the Holocaust are being repeatedly ignored, as evidenced by more recent acts of genocide, making dialogue, free speech and education about the Holocaust as important as ever, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said today at the Conference on Holocaust Remembrance in Krakow, Poland.

Weingarten spoke Wednesday at a conference panel on the importance of teaching about the Holocaust today. On Tuesday, she attended the Holocaust commemoration at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial with participants from around the world, including a White House delegation. During the prior week, Weingarten led an AFT delegation to Israel and the West Bank, visiting schools and meeting with Israeli and Palestinian activists, educators, unionists and government officials.

“For years leading up to the ‘final solution,’ the seeds of genocide were planted as Jews, Gypsies and other vulnerable minorities were so marginalized, demonized, bullied and blamed that it became acceptable to consider them unworthy of life. Without voices calling out marginalization and debunking stereotyping, extremists prevail. The recent genocides in Darfur, Rwanda and Bosnia, and the atrocities in Nigeria by Boko Haram, show that the lessons of the Holocaust are going unheeded, and that is tragic,” Weingarten said.

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The AFT represents 1.6 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.