Holocaust Memorial Day

William Hague: UK committed to Holocaust memorial efforts

By Jennifer Lipman, January 27, 2011

William Hague has pledged that the British government will “take an active approach” to Holocaust education.

The Foreign Secretary said he was determined to encourage a “wider public understanding of the history of 1933-1945, and the lessons to be drawn” and called on other countries to do the same.

Mr Hague, who visited Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum Yad Vashem last November, said: “This will be done through a more co-ordinated effort to bring justice and assistance to Holocaust victims.

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BBC's Martha Kearney remembers Holocaust survivor relative

January 27, 2011

Radio 4 news presenter Martha Kearney spoke movingly about her personal connections to the Shoah at the Holocaust Educational Trust's annual Lord Merlyn-Rees lecture, held on Monday at the Houses of Parliament.

Ms Kearney, the event chair, said her late mother-in-law Isabel Shaw "was a survivor of the camps. It was only in her later years that she began to talk to me about life during the war. That is why I think the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust is so important, by keeping those experiences alive and making sure that other generations learn from them."

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David Cameron moved by Auschwitz survivor story

By Jennifer Lipman, January 27, 2011

David Cameron has told a Holocaust survivor how moved he was to read her book about her experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

Trude Levi, 85, was with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street this week when he signed the Holocaust Educational Trust's Book of Commitment, pledging to fight prejudice and hatred. Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband are among other signatories.

Ms Levi said the Prime Minister had been genuinely interested in hearing more about her story.

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Slovaks hail an old soldier

January 27, 2011

The son of a late Woodside Park Synagogue member who served in the Czech Army during the war addressed an HMD ceremony at the Slovak Embassy in London.

Otto Wasserberg escaped from Slovakia with his mother and two brothers in July 1939. Many of his relatives died in Auschwitz.

He was called up by the Czech Army in 1944 and crossed to France after D-Day. He took part in the siege of Dunkirk from September 1944 to May 1945 and witnessed the surrender of the German garrison. After demob in 1946 he established the Mount Fur company in the City of London.

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Thanking Muslims for Holocaust heroism

By Jessica Elgot, January 27, 2011

Stories of Albanian Muslims who saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust are the focus of a campaign for better interfaith relations.

Run by the Exploring Islam Foundation, Missing Pages was launched at the House of Lords in the week of Holocaust Memorial Day. The campaign features an exhibition of photography by Norman Gershman featuring Muslims who protected Jews.

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Ed Miliband aide gets first-hand knowledge

January 27, 2011

Streatham MP Chuka Umunna, who is also PPS to Labour leader Ed Miliband, heard the testimony of survivor Agnes Grunwald-Spier at the Lambeth HMD event.

Mr Umunna also addressed the audience and there were contributions from youngsters from Lambeth primary and secondary schools and South London Liberal Synagogue. The shul hosted an educational project for 100 pupils of Dunraven School, Streatham.

In Lewisham, faith groups and children from across the borough came together for an event at the Broadway Theatre, Catford.

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Poignant Holocaust survivor art gets wider audience

January 27, 2011

The London Jewish Cultural Centre marked HMD by mounting an exhibition of paintings by survivor Alicia Melamed Adams.

It was opened by Suzanne Bardgett, head of research at the Imperial War Museum, who has written about the artist's life and work in the soon to be published Justice, Politics and Memory in Europe after the Second World War.

She explained to guests how Ms Melamed Adams, who survived the Holocaust in the Polish town of Drohobycz, settled in England after the war and began studying art only when the French class she had hoped to join was full.

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Boris Johnson: We must learn lessons from genocides

By Jessica Elgot, January 27, 2011

Boris Johnson paid tribute to the bravery of Holocaust and Rwandan genocide survivors who addressed the City Hall Holocaust Memorial Day event on Tuesday.

The speakers were Mala Tribich, who was in Ravensbruck and Bergen-Belsen, and Alphonsine Kabagabo, who survived the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

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Michael Gove backs Holocaust study aid for schools

By Jessica Elgot, January 27, 2011

Education Secretary Michael Gove has welcomed a new online tool for Holocaust education in schools, stressing the need for a permanent resource to keep survivors' memories alive.

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On this day: The liberation of Auschwitz

By Jennifer Lipman, January 27, 2011

The largest of the Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz and its sister camp Birkenau have become bywords for the unimaginable horror and evil of the Nazi genocide.

Located in Nazi-occupied Poland, estimates put the total number murdered there at 1.1 million – a tragic majority of the 1.3 million Jews and non-Jews the Nazis deported there and sent through the infamous gates adorned with the phrase "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free).

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