Delyn MP David Hanson has today showed his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day by signing a Book of Commitment in the House of Commons to honour those who perished in the Holocaust.
As in previous years, Holocaust Educational Trust placed the Book of Commitment in the House of Commons to give MPs the opportunity to pledge that they will uphold the memory of the Holocaust and oppose hatred today.
In doing so, he paid tribute to those individuals who had the courage to ‘Stand up to Hatred’ in many different ways; by joining resistance movements such as The White Rose at the University of Munich; by speaking out to challenge the hatred being that surrounded them; or by risking their own life to rescue others in danger.
January 27th marks the anniversary of the liberation in 1945 of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the infamous concentration and extermination camp.
On and around Holocaust Memorial Day, schools, local communities and faith groups from across the UK will join together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Thousands of events are being held across the country to commemorate all those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust and in more recent genocides. Ultimately the aim of the day is to motivate people – individually and collectively, to ensure that the horrendous crimes, racism and victimisation committed during the Holocaust and subsequent genocides are neither forgotten nor repeated again.
This year is the ninth year that the anniversary of the liberation of the camp has been officially commemorated in the UK. In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the day passing the Holocaust Memorial Day resolution.
David Hanson said:
“Holocaust Memorial Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and it should also serve as an opportunity to remember and reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust and other genocides.
Racism and hate are still very much present in our society and together we have a duty to unite our communities and “Stand Up to Hatred”. It is essential to continue to educate youngsters about the Holocaust and encourage them to work together towards a better future”.
Holocaust Educational Trust (HET)
1. The Holocaust Educational Trust was established in 1988 to educate young people from every ethnic background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today. HET works in schools, universities and in the community to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust, providing teacher training, an outreach programme for schools, teaching aids and resource materials. HET regard one of their earliest achievements as ensuring the Holocaust formed part of the National Curriculum for History. HET continues to play a leading role in training teachers on how best to teach the Holocaust and last year, the Treasury pledged a three-year commitment to enable HET to administer a broad programme of teacher training.
2. In November 2005, the Treasury announced funding of £1.5 million for HET to support its Lessons from Auschwitz Project. The funding has enabled HET to facilitate visits to Auschwitz for 2 students from every school in the UK. Earlier this year, the Department for Children, Schools & Families announced renewed funding for English schools and in November 2008 the Scottish Government announced funding for Scottish schools.
3. The Holocaust Educational Trust has produced a BAFTA award-winning DVD-ROM Recollections: Eyewitnesses Remember the Holocaust, in conjunction with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute. The groundbreaking interactive resource integrates testimony from 18 eyewitnesses of the Holocaust, including Jewish survivors, Roma and Sinti survivors, Jehovah’s Witness survivors and political prisoners as well as testimony from survivors of the eugenics programme.
4. The Holocaust Educational Trust has been closely involved in the establishment and development of Holocaust Memorial Day since its inception in 2000. We are represented on all working groups dealing with education, local activities, the main event and at a strategic level.
5. Holocaust Memorial Day came about following an MP’s visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the Holocaust Educational Trust. Moved by his visit, Andrew Dismore MP proposed a bill, “to introduce a day to learn and remember the Holocaust” June 30 1999.
Holocaust Memorial Day
1. The purpose of Holocaust Memorial Day is to remember the horrors of the Holocaust and those who perished. The day aims to ensure that the horrendous crimes against humanity committed during the Holocaust are never forgotten, and its relevance for each new generation is understood.
2. The theme for UK Holocaust Memorial Day 2009 is “Stand up to Hatred”. It urges all of us to look at our behaviour to others; to understand how hate is directed against different minorities in Britain today; to explore how each of us can help make our communities stronger and safer. Holocaust Memorial Day 2009 is an opportunity to forge links across ALL the diverse strands of local community lives, to build understanding and to unite in a common cause.
3. Details of the national event in Coventry on January 27th and associated events across the rest of the UK are available on the Holocaust Memorial Day website at www.hmd.org.uk