LANSING, Mich., April 20, 2023 — State Rep. Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills) introduced House Resolution 78 today to declare April 16-22, 2023, as Holocaust Memorial Week in the state of Michigan. This week honors the 6 million Jews and millions of others who were systematically murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II. Reflecting on the history of the Holocaust also serves as an important reminder of the devastating horrors that can occur when antisemitism and other forms of bigotry and hatred become ideologically mainstream and go unchecked.
“I introduced this resolution because Holocaust Memorial Week is an important time of reflection — a time for us to remember those who were murdered during or who survived the Holocaust, a time to ruminate on historic truths, and a time to celebrate Jewish heritage,” Steckloff said. “Resolutions are a meaningful type of legislation — they create an opportunity for lawmakers to express a collective sentiment. Those who voted in favor of this resolution clearly expressed that we do not and will not stand for intolerance of and discrimination against Jewish people or any other marginalized communities. Unfortunately, we have seen — in fact, I have even personally felt — an uptick in antisemitism in Michigan, and House Democrats continue to fight against bigotry at every single turn.”
Background: The Anti-Defamation League reported that 2021 saw the highest number of antisemitic incidents targeting Jews since their records began, with Michigan seeing a 65% increase in anti-Jewish incidents. Included in recent antisemitic rhetoric was a tweet by the Michigan GOP comparing Democratic legislation requiring the safe storage of firearms to the Nazis’ internment and genocide of Jewish people during the Holocaust. Kristina Karamo, chair of the Michigan Republican Party, made the comparison even more explicit in a follow-up tweet, which earned statewide, national and international scorn. In response to the divisive rhetoric, Reps. Steckloff and Arbit introduced House Resolution 68 last month calling to condemn fictitious comparisons meant to advance conservative agendas and cause the erosion of the true history and trauma that occurred during and resulted from the Holocaust. That resolution passed the House by voice vote. Arbit spoke on the House floor in support of the resolution; the speech can be seen here.