Joins concentration camp survivors for 75th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz
Rupa Huq MP signs the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment
Rupa Huq MP has signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, to pledge her commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honour 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.
Along with parliamentary colleagues she joined survivors of the Holocaust and more recent genocides at a reception in Parliament last week to mark the launch of a new digital campaign urging people to ‘Stand Together’ and commemorate the lives of individuals murdered by the Nazis.
The campaign, launched by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, pairs people with the name of a person murdered by the Nazis, which they can share on social media in a digital act of remembrance. Names of Jewish people murdered, alongside Roma, gay, disabled people and other groups are included in the project.
The Stand Together project reflects the theme chosen for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020, which explores how genocidal regimes have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups, and how these tactics can be challenged.
Attendees at the event heard from Rachel Levy BEM, a survivor of the notorious Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. Ms Levy, who was able to evade the Nazis for two years by being hidden in the forest in what was then Czechoslovakia aided by non-Jewish neighbours, was sent to Auschwitz in 1944 and only narrowly escaped being sent to the gas chambers.
Speaking at the event, she told MPs, “It is important for all of us to stand together in our communities. Members of Parliament and Peers have a responsibility and an opportunity to lead by example. We must stand together – in the memory of my family, and everyone who was murdered in the Holocaust. We must stand together against division and hate today.”
Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton, commented, “On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity to reflect on the Holocaust and to stand united against hatred and division. We must learn the lessons to ensure that genocide never happens again. In 2016 I served on a delegation to Auschwitz and the scale of the horror is a lesson to us all. We must heed survivors of the Holocaust, we must also reflect on and challenge the rise of vitriolic public discourse today. It was great also to meet up again with Olivia Marks-Woldman who I was at school with at Notting Hill and Ealing High and last saw in November at the local celebration of 100 years of Ealing Synagogue”.
Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, Olivia Marks-Woldman, said, “With increasing division in communities across the world and here in the UK, now more than ever we need to stand together with others in our communities to challenge the spread of identity-based hostility. Our Stand Together project is a powerful way for us all to remember people murdered by the Nazis – as individuals with their own hopes, families and friends. It is a chance to restore their human dignity and remember where hatred can lead, and why we must all act to challenge it. Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for us all to learn from genocide, for a better future, and I’d urge everyone to get involved in activities for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 by visiting hmd.org.uk.”
Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, added, ““As the Holocaust moves further into history, it falls on all of us to ensure that their stories and the stories of the 6 Jewish million men, women and children brutally murdered by the Nazis, are never forgotten. We all have a duty to remember the Holocaust and to stand up against antisemitism and hate, now more than ever.”
In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The Mayor of Ealing, Councillor Dr Abdullah Gulaid, commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day on Monday 27 January at Brentside High School.
On Tuesday 28 January at 2pm, Ealing Central Library is hosting a talk by Holocaust survivor Ernest Simon, who escaped from the Nazis and came to Leeds from Austria on the Kindertransport in 1939. His talk will cover the history of the Holocaust together with his memories of being a child refugee in Leeds during the second World War.
January 28, 2020