President Donald Trump on Tuesday called the Holocaust “history’s darkest hour” and implored the world to “refuse to be silent in the face of evil,” according to the pool of reporters traveling abroad with the president.
In brief remarks that followed a wreath-laying at Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, Trump lamented the systematic murder of millions of European Jews by Nazis in the years leading up to and during World War II. He said Israel and the Yad Vashem memorial itself “are a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people, and the hope that light can shine the path beyond the darkness.”
“Words can never describe the bottomless depths of that evil or the scope of the anguish and destruction. It was history’s darkest hour,” Trump said at Yad Vashem, where he was accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “It was the most savage crime against God and his children, and it is our solemn duty to remember, to mourn, to grieve and to honor every single life that was so cruelly and viciously taken.”
Israel is Trump’s second stop of an eight-day, multi-nation trip that began with a visit to Saudi Arabia and will also include stops in Italy, where the president will visit the Vatican, as well as Belgium. It is his first trip overseas as president.
At Yad Vashem, Trump was invited to rekindle the memorial’s eternal flame, pressing a lever that turned it from a small flicker into a much larger fire. His remarks lasted just longer than four minutes.
“As long as we refuse to be silent in the face of evil, as long as we refuse to dim the light of truth in the midst of darkness, as long as we refuse to become bystanders to barbarity then we know that goodness, peace, and justice will ultimately prevail,” he said.