06-R 061

2006 -- H 7079

Enacted 02/02/06


H O U S E  R E S O L U T I O N



     Introduced By: Representatives Lewiss, Long, Fox, Crowley, and Costantino

     Date Introduced: February 02, 2006



     WHEREAS, In January of 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Thus began an eight year reign of terror known thereafter as the Holocaust; and

     WHEREAS, Hitler openly launched a ruthless campaign against the Jewish people,

irrationally blaming them for all of Germany's misfortunes. Government sanctioned boycotts of Jewish businesses were encouraged and soon became commonplace; Jewish community organizations were no longer recognized by the government; Jewish students were denied higher education and Jewish people lost their right to marry outside their race or to be German citizens; and

     WHEREAS, Hitler's rampage escalated in November of 1938. More than ninety Jewish people were killed. Jewish cemeteries were desecrated. Thousands of temples, synagogues and Jewish businesses were looted, set on fire, and destroyed in what is now known as the "Night of Broken Glass" or "Crystal Night"; and

     WHEREAS, On January 30, 1939 Hitler declared that Germany was at war. One of his iniquitous obsessions during this period was the systematic annihilation of the Jewish race throughout Europe; and

     WHEREAS, Persecution soon became murder, as more than 30,000 Jewish men were

placed under house arrest and later sent to the deleterious concentration camps of Dachau, Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen, Ravensbruck, Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen; and

     WHEREAS, The first experimental gassing of Jews and other "undesirables" began as

Hitler's campaign of terror and death decimated Europe's Jewish community. Nearly six million Jews were executed, representing almost one-third of the world's Jewish population. Over 5 million non-Jewish victims were also killed. Three million of them were Poles and Catholics. Many were teachers, journalists, political prisoners, activists, and handicapped people; and

     WHEREAS, Over 1.5 million of those killed during the Holocaust were children; many were babies and toddlers, who had yet to take their first steps, let alone have the capacity to commit a crime worthy of death; and

     WHEREAS, Racism and bigotry were the root causes of the mass hatred that led to the atrocities committed during the Holocaust, but apathy and indifference also played a major role. The United States had not declared war on Germany until December 11, 1941, eight years after Hitler's junta had begun. Acknowledging and remembering these horrendous acts of prejudice and injustice, so that our children may inherit a brighter future, is our solemn duty; and

     WHEREAS, On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau

extermination camp. Annually, the anniversary of this date is set aside to commemorate the Holocaust; now, therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and

Providence Plantations hereby commemorates the victims of the Holocaust. We urge all the citizens of Rhode Island to join us in reaffirming our pledge to work to eradicate bigotry, prejudice, brutality and injustice through education and vigilance; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the United States Holocaust Museum, the Rhode Island Holocaust Museum, the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island and the Jewish Community Center of Rhode Island.