WINNIPEG — Monday marked Holocaust Memorial Day and 75-years since the liberation of Auschwitz.
MP for Winnipeg Centre, Leah Gazan, took to Twitter to share her connection to the tragic events.
She said she lost all her relatives except for five people because of the Holocaust, adding her grandparents, father and two uncles were the only ones to make it out alive.
“My grandmother was actually a Polish Jew who immigrated to Holland, met my grandfather, they married, had my father. My grandfather was Dutch too,” said Gazan in an interview with CTV News.
Gazan, whose mother is Chinese Indigenous, said she has seen what genocide can do on both sides of her family.
“What happens intergenerationally is it really leaves you almost void of family,” said Gazan. “It’s really almost entirely stripped away an extended family for me.”
In her tweets, Gazan said growing up, her family never talked about what happened during the war, adding, “I think my grandfather had a lot of guilt.”
“There was a silence,” she said. “When my grandfather was still alive, there was no discussion.”
“When my grandfather passed away, my grandmother immediately took down the family photo albums that were up in the closet. It was too painful to talk about and, over time, I’ve learned that many descendants from Holocaust survivors have had similar experiences.”
Due to her connections with the Holocaust, Gazan said she has stood up against genocide and said she will always speak out in the face of hate.
“We as a world need to look after each other.”
In her tweets, she said her grandmother felt the same way.
“She used to say, with her very thick accent, ‘I love everyone. I do not care what color they are, their religion, poor or rich. I love all people. Love all people and be kind. Genocide is very bad’.”
Gazan told CTV News she never wants anyone to go through what her family did, adding: “We remember but also never again.”
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