Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau Keynote Speaker at The CSYV National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony

May 7, 2019, Ottawa

National Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony

Over 700 guests attended the Ceremony that took place on May 7, 2019 in partnership with the Government of Canada, with The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada as the keynote speaker.

Fran Sonshine, CSYV National Chair and Bruce Kent, RBC Vice-President, Director & Portfolio Manager and CSYV Board member, chaired the ceremony, which commemorated the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

The program also paid tribute to the survivors who rebuilt their lives in Canada. Many survivors came to Ottawa to attend this meaningful event.

The theme of this year’s Ceremony was “Struggle for Survival: Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust”.

To honour National Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada delivered a meaningful keynote address, to commemorate the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and shared ways in which we can, together combat hate and intolerance.

 “When we hear stories of survivors, we are reminded that the Holocaust was a true horror. We are reminded of the six million who were sent to the death camps simply because they were Jewish. It is our solemn duty as politicians, as leaders, as human beings to stand united with one voice and to say without equivocation that anti-Semitic hatred has no place in Canada or anywhere else. We have to loudly declare that hatred will not be tolerated in our communities, in our places of worship or on our campuses”.

The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of CANADA

In addition to Prime Minister Trudeau, Nimrod Barkan, Ambassador of Israel to Canada, Mr. Peter Kent, M.P., representing the Conservative Party, Mr. Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the NDP and Rabbi Bulka addressed the attendees and lit a candle in the CSYV menorah.

In line with this year’s theme, the program featured accounts from both first and future generation Holocaust survivors. Joe Gottdenker shared his powerful first-hand testimony of surviving the Holocaust thanks to the bravery of Petronolo and Wladyslaw Ziolo, a Catholic couple who raised him as their own, risking their lives everyday. As more Holocaust survivors leave us, Joe emphasized that;

“The best way to learn about the Holocaust is first-hand testimony…Without knowing the past you cannot prevent it from happening again.”

The program also paid tribute to the survivors who rebuilt their lives in Canada. Furthermore, son of Holocaust Survivors and CSYV Board Member Lou Greenbaum addressed the attendees with his grandson Kyle Goldenberg. The two spoke about the importance of Holocaust education and our shared responsibility to equip others and ourselves with the tools to stand against hate and intolerance.

“I learned and experienced from a young age how ignorance and lack of knowledge can lead to racism and anti­semitism. As a proud Board member of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem, I strongly believe that we have a shared responsibility to educate ourselves and others.” – Lou Greenbaum, son of Holocaust Survivors & CSYV board member

Kyle Goldenberg added that;

“It is up to our and future generations to keep learning and teaching about the Holocaust in order to maintain the memories of the 6 million Jews who died and stories of the Survivors. Never shall the Holocaust happen again and never shall we forget.”

To read Joseph Gottdenker’s full story:

To watch Joseph Gottdenker’s video testimony:

Canadian Society for Yad Vahsem holds exceptional stories of “Righteous Among the Nations” in written forms and video testimonies. To view our collection: