On April 24, Horizon School Division held a Holocaust Symposium for Grade 11 students at the Humboldt Uniplex. This event provided students with an opportunity to hear from Mr. Amek Adler, a Holocaust survivor, who witnessed the violence, abuse, and dehumanization of Jewish people in Poland during the Second World War. In addition to the moving testimony of Mr. Adler, students were informed by experts in Judaism, the founding of Israel, Holocaust denial, and the face of hate in modern times.

April 24, 2017 Horizon School Division Holocaust Symposium
Commissioner Heather Kuttai lighting a candle for victims of the Holocaust.

Heather Kuttai, a Commissioner for the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, challenged students to take what they have learned from the presenters and demonstrate their commitment to the rights of others. Kuttai stated:

Think about the conversation with Mr. Adler. What he, and what every survivor brings to the conversation, is powerful.

The presence of survivors makes the tragedies of the Holocaust so very real. The knowledge that Mr. Adler gave to you today is very important to understand. It takes great courage and energy to tell that story but it is so important that it be told.

Each of us must remember the story we heard today and etch it into our memory and our hearts.  It is our duty to challenge anyone who would purport to deny the Holocaust, and to challenge anyone who promotes Antisemitism, to challenge anyone who speaks hatred towards any person or group.  It is our duty to fight ignorance and malice born in disrespect and hate.

There are many lessons in the stories of survivors from the Holocaust.  And now that you have heard, first hand, from Mr. Adler, I would have to bet that you have a pretty good sense of how important the phrase “never again” is. You are a part of a profound and important dialogue on the Holocaust.

This is a courageous conversation.