The Holocaust

Tory leaders join students on Auschwitz visit

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2009

Conservative Party chairman Francis Maude and Barnet Council deputy leader Matthew Offord accompanied students on a trip to Auschwitz last week. Visiting under the aegis of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz project, the group’s itinerary took in the town of Oswiecim and its Jewish cemetery, as well as the Nazi death camp site.


Pope tells Holocaust denier to recant

By Simon Rocker, February 5, 2009

Pope benedict XVI has responded to international pressure and ordered a maverick cleric to recant his Holocaust-denying views.

Jewish-Catholic relations were plunged into crisis last week by the Vatican’s rehabilitation of English-born Richard Williamson, along with three other bishops associated with an ultra-conservative breakaway sect.


Lessons of Holocaust

By John Fisher, February 5, 2009

The 600 people at Sunday’s Leeds civic ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day were urged to learn the lessons of the Shoah.

“It all started with such small little acts,” HMD Trust chair Dr Stephen Smith cautioned. “Small statements, small-minded politics. Eventually, it killed and it killed and it killed.”

Dr Martin Kapel, who was nine when he arrived in the UK on the Kindertransport, likened criticism of the government’s immigration policy to the fears voiced in the 1930s when Jews fled the Nazis.


Survivor’s harrowing memories

By Marcus Dysch, January 29, 2009

For survivor Joseph Kiersz, Coventry’s HMD service brought back memories of the horrific scenes he witnessed as a boy.

The Nazis captured his family, who lived near Lodz, in Poland, and he was interned first at Belsen and later at Auschwitz. His mother, brother and sisters died in the gas chambers.


‘Hamas supporter’ speaks at Scottish HMD event

By Stephanie Brickman, January 29, 2009

A Scottish anti-Israel fringe group has held what it claimed was a Holocaust Memorial Day event, with a guest speaker who openly supports Hamas.

The Scottish Palestinian Solidarity campaign hosted two all-day events in Edinburgh and Glasgow on Sunday January 25 entitled Resistance to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing : from Europe in the 1940s to the Middle East Today.

The key speakers were Dr Azam Tamimi, director of the London-based Institute of Islamic Political Thought, and Liliane Kaczerginsky, daughter of Yiddish poet Shmerke Kaczerginsky.


Horror email links IDF to Warsaw Nazis

By Leon Symons, January 29, 2009

Holocaust images displayed in a viral email alongside pictures taken during Israel’s military operation in Gaza have been condemned as grossly offensive.

Forty-two Shoah pictures and an equal number depicting what areclaimed to be equivalent scenes from Gaza have been emailed all over the world.

Eric Moonman, president of the Zionist Federation, said: “These pictures are grossly offensive and I am reporting them to the police as a malicious communication.


Sounds of survivors go online

By Simon Rocker, January 29, 2009

The British Library has put its complete collection of oral testimonies of Shoah survivors online.

Over 440 hours of interviews with 66 people recorded by the library’s sound archive can now be publicly accessed.

Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust covers refugees who escaped Nazi Germany pre-war, and those who survived in hiding or endured the camps.

Rob Perks, curator of oral history at the archive, said: “These oral testimonies personalise the enormity of the Holocaust in a very direct and human way, emphasising the variety and complexity of individual experience.


MPs urge that Shoah lessons should not be forgotten

January 29, 2009

Irish President Mary McAleese told the country’s national Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony that “the wickedness and cruelty of the Holocaust lacerate our hearts to this day, as they should. God forbid that any generation will ever know the indulgence of forgetting or ever cease to probe how it all came to be”.


Coventry sends a message in fight against intolerance

By Marcus Dysch, January 29, 2009

An emotional service in Coventry on Sunday attended by over 100 Shoah survivors served as the national commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day.

Reflecting the government’s commitment to HMD, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was among the audience of 800 at the Belgrade Theatre and Communities Secretary Hazel Blears was one of the speakers, pledging to combat extremism in her Salford community and beyond.

“I will give my all to stop the Far Right,” she declared. “I will work hard to ensure Britain is a place where all are safe.


Muslim is 'changed forever' by her visit to Auschwitz

By Bernard Josephs, January 29, 2009

A Muslim student received an ovation from MPs and Holocaust educators after delivering an impassioned plea for a united front against racial prejudice and hatred.

Addressing an HMD event at the House of Commons, Ifraah Samatar said that 60 years after the Holocaust, “we still live in a society where hatred and discrimination exist.

“We are all neighbours on this planet, be we Jewish, Muslim, Christian or whatever. We have to realise that when people look back 60 years they will ask themselves: ‘How could this have happened?’ Yet racism and genocide still happen today.”