President Obama will speak at the ceremony starting at 5:45
Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. This evening, President Obama will speak at the Righteous Among the Nations Award Ceremony at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C. He will be introduced by filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who is dedicated to telling the stories of and archiving moving image materials about the Holocaust and World War II.
At the ceremony, which is the first of its kind in the United States, Yad Vashem will posthumously recognize four individuals who heroically risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis, forever demonstrating the importance of standing up to intolerance and hatred everywhere.
Read about the honorees:
Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds
Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds participated in the landing of the American forces in Europe and was taken prisoner by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. While in captivity, the Germans ordered the captured Jewish POWs at the camp to report. Master Sergeant Edwards, the highest-ranking American non-commissioned officer, ordered all of the U.S. soldiers to stand together, and he announced to the German officer, â€œWe are all Jews.â€ The German officer gave up, and the Jewish soldiersâ€™ lives were saved.
Lois Gunden was an American teaching in France who helped smuggle Jewish children out of an internment camp and into a childrenâ€™s home she established.
Walery and Maryla Zbijewski
Walery and Maryla Zbijewski were a Polish couple who put their lives at risk to secretly house a Jewish child in Warsaw for several months.