HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY 2023
I signed the Holocaust Educational Trust (UK)'s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging my commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people today.
Holocaust Memorial Day falls today, on 27th January, the anniversary of the liberation of the infamous former Nazi concentration and death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, in 1945. Across the UK – and world – people will come together to remember the horrors of the past.
It is so very important to remember all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘Ordinary People’.
Genocide is facilitated by ordinary people. Ordinary people turn a blind eye, believe propaganda, join murderous regimes. And those who are persecuted, oppressed and murdered in genocide aren’t persecuted because of crimes they’ve committed – they are persecuted simply because they are ordinary people who belong to a particular group.
Ordinary people were involved in all aspects of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution of other groups, and in the genocides that took place in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Ordinary people were perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers, witnesses – and ordinary people were victims.
In every genocide, those targeted faced limited choices – ‘choiceless choices’, but in every genocide the perpetrators have choices, ordinary people have choices.
This day provides an important opportunity for people to reflect on the darkest times of European history. Today, I pledge to remember the six million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered in Holocaust.