SMR Column: Tolerance must be vital legacy of the Holocaust

John signing the Holocaust Memorial Book of Commitment in Parliament this week

John signing the Holocaust Memorial Book of Commitment in Parliament this week

This Monday (27th Jan) will mark the 14th Holocaust Memorial day that has taken place in Britain. On this solemn day I think it’s fitting that we all take some time out of our day to really think about what remembering victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Holocaust Memorial Day marks the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

I will be attending a school assembly at King David & Yavneh High School in Crumpsall on Monday who are joining with Muslim schools to explore the Holocaust and the Muslims who saved lives of Jews.

The terrible slaughter of millions over a delusional belief in sub and superior human beings should remind all of us of the danger in focusing on our differences rather than similarities. This year this message should be particularly poignant with a back drop of tough times and rising far right sentiment across Europe.

Whilst we cannot take back those shameful acts, family members cannot be brought back, we all owe it to Hitler’s victims and indeed all victims of anti-Semitism and racism to ensure we never go back to those dark times.

I encourage all to mark the day and to join members of the community in the fight against prejudice and intolerance. The theme for the UK Holocaust Memorial Day 2014 is ‘Journeys’, encouraging us to learn how journeys themselves became part of genocide and also about the life stories of journeys that brought survivors to the UK.

Marking the event in Manchester will be our own Manchester Jewish Museum, who are putting on a combination of talks, performances and readings about Kindertransport, a rescue mission that allowed 10,000 children to escape from Nazi Germany to Great Britain just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

For more information on the Manchester Jewish Museum’s event please visit the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s website (www.hmd.org.uk) and the follow links to activities.

 

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