DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser addressed hate and extremism Sunday morning at the Babi Yar remembrance ceremony. The annual event commemorates the execution of 34,000 Jews in Nazi-occupied Ukraine on Sept. 29, 1941.
“People don’t want to believe that something like the Holocaust could happen or even that it did happen,” said Weiser. For him, the Holocaust was personal.
“I’m the child of a Holocaust survivor, for me remembering what happened is part of who I am.”
Weiser gave the keynote address to commemorate the tragedy at Babi Yar in Kiev, Ukraine. Nazis forced Jews to give over their valuables and clothing, then marched them to the edge of a ravine.
Ten at a time they were shot and killed.
“That’s an old story, you should remember, that should never happen again, such a story,” said Holocaust Survivor Cantor Zachery Kutner, who also participated in the ceremony.
“I went through, myself, four and a half years in concentration camp, hard labor. If it had been another few days I would probably be dead too, so I was just lucky,” said Kutner. He was just 14 years old at the time.
“This will never go away, always, even sometimes in sleep can come for me,” he said.
“By remembering the Holocaust, which is such an extreme example of hate, we are reminded and inspired to stand up for justice,” said Weiser.
A justice, played out by each of us, every day.
“It’s how we treat each other, it’s how we don’t accept hatred and prejudice. All of us have to do that work and this country was founded on those principles,” he said.