R 206
2017 -- S 0825
Enacted 04/27/2017

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Gallo, Goodwin, Miller, Ruggerio, and Goldin
Date Introduced: April 27, 2017

     WHEREAS, The State of Rhode Island has consistently demonstrated its concerns and
interests regarding raising awareness on the subjects of Holocaust and Genocide, and the
necessity for civic education, of which Genocide education should be a component; and
     WHEREAS, In 2016, the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and the Armenian
community spearheaded the drive to amend the Rhode Island General Laws in order to require
more comprehensive and inclusive educational requirements on the subjects of Holocaust and
Genocide; and
     WHEREAS, Resultantly, House Bill 7488 SUB A was passed by the General Assembly
and subsequently signed into law on June 17, 2016; and
     WHEREAS, The legislation requires the Rhode Island Board of Education to include
instruction on the subjects of Holocaust and Genocide studies in an appropriate place in the
curriculum, for all middle and high school students; and
     WHEREAS, The Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman
Empire from 1915 to 1923, and resulted in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of
whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, and the remaining 500,000 survived but
were expelled from their homes. This act succeeded in the elimination of the Armenians from
their historic ancestral homeland where they had resided for over 2,500 years; and
     WHEREAS, United States Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Sr. explicitly described the
policy of the Ottoman Empire's government to the United States Department of State as "a
campaign of race extermination." The post-World War I Turkish government indicted the top
leaders involved in the organization and execution of the Armenian Genocide and in the
"massacre and destruction of the Armenians," and in a series of court-martials, officials of the
Young Turk regime were charged, tried and convicted, for organizing and executing massacres
against the Armenian people; and
     WHEREAS, Holocaust is the term used to refer to the period in world history from 1933
to 1945, before and during World War II, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazis systematically and
barbarically persecuted and murdered nearly six million Jews and another five million non-Jews
throughout Europe because they were perceived to be "racially inferior" and "life unworthy of
life"; and
     WHEREAS, The infamous and brutal killing grounds of Auschwitz, Buchenwald,
Dachau and Belson, today house the unnatural quiet and ghostly calm of somber rows of sanitized
barracks and rusting ovens, and stand as speechless memorials to the six million Jews and eleven
million total victims who succumbed to the deliberate Nazi program of Genocide that was the
Holocaust; and
     WHEREAS, This year marks the 102nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide
committed by the Ottoman Turks in 1915, and the 74th Anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto
Uprising; and
     WHEREAS, The United States Holocaust Memorial Council, an independent federal
agency, unanimously resolved on April 30, 1981, that the United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum would include the Armenian Genocide in the museum and has since done so; and
     WHEREAS, When one enters the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, there is an
exhibit depicting Adolf Hitler, who on ordering his military commanders to attack Poland without
provocation in 1939, dismissed objections by stating "[w]ho, after all, speaks today of the
annihilation of the Armenians?", thus setting the stage for the Holocaust; and
     WHEREAS, The citizens of Rhode Island, having our own rich heritage of resistance and
intolerance for those who would trample individual liberty and dignity, applaud the courageous
efforts of the Armenians in their brave fight for their survival and their ancestral homeland and
the valiant efforts of ghetto residents for whom day to day survival was a relentless struggle. The
brave actions of the Armenian and Jewish people stand as testimony to a rare and indomitable
human spirit and extraordinary courage exhibited in the darkest hours of man's inhumanity; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Islanders and people of all nations must take the time to remember
and educate their youth about the millions of men, women and children who were slaughtered
simply because of their beliefs and their heritage, or their strengths or their frailties, and we must
firmly avow that the atrocities of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust will never be
repeated; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby commemorates "Holocaust Remembrance Day" and "Armenian Genocide Remembrance
Day"; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby expresses its deepest sympathy to the Jewish-
American and Armenian-American communities of Rhode Island and thanks them for their
efforts to assure that these atrocious and unconscionable events will always be commemorated
and never forgotten by future generations; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Honorable Donald Trump, President of the
United States, the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation, and the Honorable Gina Raimondo,
Governor of the State of Rhode Island.