Today, Holocaust Memorial Day, marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp. It is an opportunity to remember and commemorate the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the many other victims of Nazi persecution, and those who have suffered subsequent genocides.
It is also a chance to honour the many Holocaust survivors who have worked tirelessly to educate young people in this country and across on the world on the unspeakable reality of genocide and the conditions which lead to it.
Holocaust Memorial Day is vitally important in reminding us all that we have a historical duty to never allow such horror to happen again. This year’s theme is ‘Stand Together’, a message that we must all take to heart. Crimes such as the Holocaust are only possible in a climate where division and extremism are allowed to flourish.
Antisemitism, which culminated in the Second World War and genocide, is sadly still present in Britain today. Every single one of us has a responsibility to challenge it and be clear that it can have no place in our society. As Hannah Arendt, the German-American author who fled Germany to escape the Nazis said:
“As citizens, we must prevent wrongdoing because the world in which we all live, wrong-doer, wrong sufferer and spectator, is at stake.”