Actor John Hurt fears the world has not learned the lessons of the Holocaust.
Mr Hurt was one of the speakers at a Holocaust Educational Trust dinner in central London, making a link between events leading up to the Shoah and current economic problems.
“We’re in a situation now which is dangerous and parallels can be made to the time before the war, with the banking crises and loss of faith in the government. We love to put blame on the Hitlers and the Stalins but we need to look at ourselves and see that we are all at fault.”
His interest in the Holocaust had grown from starring in the 2005 film, Shooting Dogs, about the Rwandan genocide.“I met many of the Rwandan survivors and thought their stories were extraordinary.
“But the more I experience, the more it seems to me that before any of us move forward, we have to recognise the fact we are all capable of that which is wonderful and that which is terrible.”
Praising the HET for its “fantastic work”, he added: “It’s crucially important to keep teaching the next generation about the Holocaust because it is just common sense.”
A number of Holocaust survivors were at the dinner, which was also attended by Schools Secretary Ed Balls, actor Anthony Sher and broadcaster Angela Rippon.