Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, marking the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp. It is an occasion to remember both those who lost their lives in the Holocaust and those killed in subsequent genocides. Because of my duties here at Westminster, I was unable to attend the event organised by Croydon Council at the Town Hall, but I signed the “Book of Commitment” here in Parliament organised by the excellent Holocaust Educational Trust.
The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 is “Don’t Stand By” in recognition of the fact that whilst relatively few people were directly involved in the Nazi’s attempt to exterminate European Jewry, many more people knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it. What happened is a reminder to all of us that we have a duty no to stand by but to confront racism and prejudice wherever we find it because we know where it ultimately leads.
To find out more about Holocaust Memorial Day, visit www.hmd.org.uk.