President Obama will once again miss out on an important international event. He will be absent during the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, where over one million Jews were murdered by the Nazis.
The snub hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Jewish community, who will solemnly remember Hitler’s countless victims. This news comes after plans to skip a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, when he speaks in front of a joint session of Congress at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner.
Heads of state from France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, and Denmark will be present at the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. But Obama will be a no-show. Representing the administration on Tuesday’s commemorations will be Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, while other countries are sending their heads of state.
Following the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine earlier this month, Obama was noticeably missing from a line-up of world leaders who came to Paris to show their support for the French people. Later on, it was revealed that the president wasn’t even aware of the magnitude of the march, where millions across the nation came out to rally in support of the victims of the terrorist attack.
After facing intense criticism, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was forced to admit it was a mistake not to send a high-ranking official, such as Obama or VP Joe Biden, to represent the United States. Similarly, no top administration representative will be present at the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which was used as an extermination camp by the Nazis.
The significance of Obama’s absence is not lost on the dwindling number of elderly survivors and the Jewish community at large. As time goes on, it is clear that this is likely the last main anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz that will see a larger number of survivors attending, as many are in their last years.
Obama is currently visiting India in an effort to make progress on climate, defense, and trade with the Asian nation. However, Obama cleared his schedule to pay his respects to the late King of Saudi Arabia and long-time U.S. ally Abdullah, according to CNN.
But the American leader is not the only high-profile international figure not attending the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation. Russian President Vladimir Putin — who also missed the Paris march — will not attend the ceremony on Tuesday, nor will British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was in Paris. However, he toured the concentration camp last month with the museum director.
Do you think Obama should be present at the 70th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation?