ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will join leaders from around the world at a ceremony in Poland on Monday commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by Soviet troops.
The Democrat departed for Poland on Sunday following a press briefing where he was joined by several Holocaust survivors and Alan Moskin, a U.S. Army veteran who talks to school children about his experiences liberating a Nazi concentration camp in 1945.
Cuomo said he will leave a rock at Auschwitz engraved with the words “New York state remembers,” as well as mementos and tokens from Auschwitz survivors, state elected officials and Jewish community leaders.
“This state will never forget the Nazi atrocities that were perpetrated against the Jews, and as we confront a growing cancer of hate and intolerance against the Jewish community, this trip will serve as a reminder of our shared New York values against intolerance and division,” Cuomo said, noting that the anniversary comes amid a rash of anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York and across the country.
“It is tragic that 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial is growing,” said Samuel Hersley, an Auschwitz survivor who lost his parents, brother and over 70 other relatives in the Holocaust. “Please never forget my story and all of those who cannot tell their story, it should not be forgotten.”
As part of his 2020 State of the State address and budget plan, Cuomo proposed that New York schools add a curriculum that teaches civic values and the state’s history of diversity and religious freedom.
He also advanced legislation requiring that every student visit a museum that covers topics related to the Holocaust.