It was almost three years ago that I visited the town of Oswiecim in Poland where the infamous Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz is situated.
I went on the trip with the Holocaust Educational Trust who are an exceptional organisation who work tirelessly in trying to make sure the Holocaust is not forgotten and that lessons are learned from it.
That last point is vital to make sure it doesn’t happen again. You may say, “of course mass genocide won’t happen again. Not in this day and age.” However, that eventuality is far more likely and easier to come about than you think.
In fact, mass genocides have been fairly rife since the Holocaust of the Jews in the 1930s and 1940s.
I received an email today which contained the plans put forward by the UK’s Holocaust Commission and accepted by Prime Minister David Cameron.
At the National UK Commemoration event the Prime Minister has just announced that he accepts the recommendations. Britain will have a new National Memorial, a world-class Learning Centre using the latest digital technology to commemorate and educate about the Holocaust and an Endowment fund to secure the long-term future of Holocaust education.All three political parties have agreed that Government will commit £50 million to the creation of the National Memorial, Learning Centre and Endowment Fund.As you know, the Commission, has been chaired by Mick Davis and included the Chief Rabbi, Helena Bonham Carter, Natasha Kaplinsky, Sir Peter Bazalgette and cross-party representation from Rt Hon Ed Balls, Rt Hon Simon Hughes and Rt Hon Michael Gove.Today it has recommended:
- A striking and prominent new National Memorial should be built in central London to make a bold statement about the importance Britain places on preserving the memory of the Holocaust and stand as a permanent affirmation of the values of British society.
- A world-Class Learning Centre should sit alongside the memorial. This should be a must-see destination using the latest technology to engage and inspire vast numbers of visitors. It would also be responsible for developing a physical campus and online hub bringing together a network of the existing Holocaust organisations across the UK and supporting them in driving a renewed national effort to advance Holocaust education across the country.
- An endowment fund to secure the long-term future of Holocaust education – including the new Learning Centre and projects across the country.
- An urgent programme to record and preserve the testimony of British Holocaust survivors and liberators.
I have written articles on this subject before so if you’d like to know more visit: http://www.jarradjohnson.wordpress.com/posts