Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., helped amend a domestic spending appropriations bill to fund the U.S. Holocaust Museum and Holocaust education programs.
Rubio joined U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Ct., Ben Cardin, D-Mary., Kevin Cramer, R-ND, and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., in offering the amendment. The amendment would have the museum “submit a report on its collection and usage of historical documentation, such as survivor testimony, to support the museum’s Holocaust educational programs” and sends an additional $500,000 to the museum.
“We must never forget the stain caused by the Holocaust and we must ensure future generations know the full history of this horrific genocide,” Rubio said on Friday. “By providing additional funds and assessing our current education programs about the Holocaust, we will be able to better support the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s efforts to preserve and share the memory of survivor accounts. As anti-Semitism continues to plague our country, I’m happy to see the United States Senate send a clear message that honors the victims who perished during humanity’s darkest hour.”
“We must never forget those who perished in the Holocaust and we must always work to ensure that knowledge, tolerance, and reason are ever-present in the face of ignorance and rising anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of intolerance and hate. Our goal is to ensure that this invaluable American museum has the resources it needs to collect and preserve irreplaceable historical documentation of the Holocaust. In turn, those materials and experiences can be used to provide future generations with the knowledge, tolerance, and reason they need in the world we face today,” Cardin said, who sits on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.
“I applaud my colleagues for joining our efforts to combat the rising tide of anti-Semitism in our country through increased education about this terrible tragedy,” Cramer said. “The lessons of the Holocaust must always be taught so the experience of the Holocaust may never be repeated.”
“With anti-Semitism on the rise across the globe, it is critical that we take steps to educate future generations about the Holocaust,” Rosen said . “I applaud the inclusion of this bipartisan amendment which will help utilize the stories of survivors to stop hate before it starts, which could help to reverse the troubling increase of anti-Semitism in the United States. I will continue working in Congress on legislative actions to ensure that the phrase ‘Never Again’ rings true for all generations.”
“Ensuring that the past horrors of the Holocaust aren’t forgotten will help combat anti-Semitism and hate in our present and future. Our bipartisan effort will help preserve firsthand accounts of the Holocaust and other primary sources, which are vital to teaching future generations about one of the darkest chapters in human history,” Blumenthal said.
Back in July, Rubio, Blumenthal and Cramer threw their support behind Rosen’s proposal to create a federal fund to teach students about the Holocaust. Rosen’s “Never Again Education Act” bill would have the U.S. Education Department create the Holocaust Education Assistance Program Fund, expanding middle and high school education on the Holocaust.
“The funding could cover training for educators, textbooks, transportation for survivors to be brought to a school, and certain other educational materials that present historically accurate information about the atrocities of the Holocaust. The bill would also direct experts at the Department of Education to work with trained Holocaust educators to conduct regional workshops to help teachers incorporate the sensitive subject of the Holocaust into their classrooms,” Rubio’s office noted about the bill.
“The Holocaust is humanity’s darkest hour, and we must never forget the stain it has left on history,” Rubio said in July. “Incredibly, there are still some who deny the existence of the mass murder of six million Jewish people or, even worse, wrongly manipulate the horrors of the Holocaust to score cheap political points in today’s partisan climate. It is our duty to ensure that future generations know the history of the Holocaust in its entirety, so that the millions of innocent lives lost will never be forgotten and that the evils of anti-Semitism will never be repeated.”
“There is overwhelming evidence that anti-Semitism is on the rise in the United States and across the globe,” Rosen said. “In order to ensure that an event like the Holocaust never again occurs we must take concrete steps to address this growing epidemic of hate, and that begins through education and understanding of one of the most horrific chapters in history. I will continue to support and develop bipartisan policy solutions to fight hate in whatever form it takes because Never Again must mean Never Again for anyone.”
“The story of the Holocaust must always be taught so that the experience of the Holocaust may never be repeated,” Cramer said. “With anti-Semitism on the rise in certain parts of the country, even among some elected officials, increased education about this terrible tragedy is as important as ever.”
Over in the U.S. House, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, and U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, introduced a similar proposal at the start of the year. More than 200 members of the House are co-sponsoring the proposal.
“With more than 200 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, and now with Senate introduction, it’s clear that the momentum for the Never Again Education Act just keeps growing,” Maloney said back in July “It is up to all of us to make sure that we teach generations to come about the Holocaust and the dangers of intolerance and hate. No one is born with hate in their hearts – it is learned. But we can prevent that if we teach about the Holocaust in all our schools and give teachers the resources they need to do so.”
Last week, the Palm Beach County School Board voted 5-2 to fire William Latson, who had been the principal of Spanish River Community High School and who, when asked by a parent earlier this year about Holocaust education, insisted “I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a district employee.”
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.