Kate Osborne MP: We must face discrimination, racism, persecution head on
The book honours those who died during the Holocaust, as well as those extraordinary survivors who work tirelessly to educate younger generations about what they endured.
The Holocaust and the Second World War carries significant emotional memories for me and my family. My great uncle was one of the first British soldiers to go in and liberate the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp on April 15, 1945. In fact, my youngest son Frederick is named after him and I will always remember the true enormity of what happened there all those years ago.
Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
The name Auschwitz is synonymous with the Holocaust. Approximately one million people were killed at the camp, but even for those who survived, the scars of their torture, both physical and mental, would remain with them vividly for the rest of their lives. Few who did survive are still with us, but their stories remain as important now as ever.
Holocaust Memorial Day is the annual day of remembrance for the millions of Jews killed during the Holocaust. Let’s not forget that millions of others including Trade Unionists, the elderly, the disabled, and gay people were also victims of Nazi atrocities and horrific brutality.
The aim of this important day is to motivate people both individually and collectively, to ensure that the horrendous crimes of racism and victimisation committed during the Holocaust are never forgotten.
That man is capable of such appalling inhumanity, based on an adherence to a doctrine of hate, is a chilling thought.
But to shy away from retelling one of the darkest periods of human history would be an injustice to those who lost their lives.
Instead, it is essential we continue to educate the next generation, so they are aware of what happened under the Nazi regime, and develop a more tolerant society free from racism, prejudice and bigotry.
Across the country, people will be marking the day in a variety of ways. On Monday I have been invited to South Shields Town Hall to say a few words as part of a poignant day of commemoration to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
It is vital that we as a society remember the millions of men, women and children who were murdered by the Nazi regime.
Although we are powerless to change past events, we can ensure we can teach future generations about the significance of the Holocaust, and continue to fight against prejudice and discrimination.
Today there is growing division in our communities across the country and the world. Now more than ever, we need to stand together with others in our communities in order to stop division and the spread of hostility in our society.
Discrimination, racism, persecution and hatred live on in places too numerous to mention, and we must face it head on.”