US Secretary of State: I Carry the Memory of the 6 Million ‘Every Day in Office’

January 28, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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“Every day that I serve as Secretary of State, I will carry the memory of my stepfather and his family, and of the six million Jewish people and millions of others who were killed during the Holocaust,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on June 16, 2016. Credit: David Azagury/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv.

Speaking during a special event hosted by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Social Equality, Blinken said that he “will remember that a nation’s power is not measured only by the size of its military and economy, but by the moral choices it makes, and I will remember that atrocities like the Holocaust do not just happen – they are allowed to happen. It is up to us to stop them. Never again.”

During his remarks, while accepting then-President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination to be secretary of state, Blinken spoke of his stepfather Samuel Pisar, who was “one of 900 children in his school in Bialystok, Poland, but the only one to survive the Holocaust after four years in concentration camps.”

He recalled Pisar’s survival of a death march, after which he was rescued by a Black US soldier.

Just before being lifted onto a tank by the soldier, Pisar “fell to his knees, and said the only three words he knew in English that his mother had taught him before the war: ‘God bless America,’” Blinken said.

Pisar, who survived Majdanek, Auschwitz and Dachau, became an attorney and served as an adviser on foreign economic policy to President John Kennedy, and recounted his Holocaust story in the 1979 memoir, “Of Blood and Hope.” He died in 2015 at age 86.

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