Ambassador Bernstein’s Message on International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust

Ambassador Bernstein

Message for Conmemoración Día del Recuerdo del Holocausto

January 27, 2019 • 19:00 p.m.


¡Muy buenas noches!  Estoy muy feliz de estar aquí hoy, no sé cómo expresarles lo que significa este momento para mí.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. As people pause to reflect over the horrors inflicted by Nazism in Europe, we also use the moment to condemn violence driven by religious and ethnic persecution around the world.

During the Holocaust Remembrance Day last year, President Trump said, “Our Nation is indebted to the Holocaust’s survivors.  Despite the trauma they carry with them, they continue to educate us by sharing their experiences, strength, wisdom, and generosity of spirit to advance respect for human rights.”

I want you all to know that I chose to come to the Dominican Republic.  This was my first choice.  A large part of that decision had to do with my Jewish faith and how the Dominican Republic embraced Jewish refugees in 1938.  When the rest of the world turned its back on Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany, some of my Jewish brethren were able to find a refuge here in the Dominican Republic, particularly in the community of Sosúa.  My grandfather, Morris Stein, fled religious persecution in Russia and came to the United States, so my family understands what it means to be uprooted and start again in a strange land. But he instilled in us the values of faith, hard work, perseverance, gratitude and family.    

I told the Embassy staff on my first day in this country that my faith and my family were the bedrocks upon which I build my principles and my life.  As we remember the victims and honor the survivors; we also send our thoughts and prayers to the families and lives tragically fractured by these atrocities.  Their memory lives on. As we look to our future, we share a message of hope that people continue to nurture love in their hearts and minds. Our partners around the world help ensure that we continue to uphold human rights and never again allow something like this to happen.  On behalf of the United States of America, it is my honor to host this event alongside our partner and friend Israel.  We remember – yesterday, today and vow to remember always.  May no people suffer these tragedies ever again.

Gracias por estar aquí esta noche y gracias otra vez por compartir este momento conmigo.