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Why the government is doing this

    The nations of Europe vowed after the Second World War, when the horror of the concentration camps was uncovered: never again. To keep our promise, it is vital that we remember and learn.

    We must remember how from the seeds of prejudice, violence and hatred grew, and learn from the mistakes of the past. Education and teaching young people is so important. Organisations such as London's Jewish Museum and the Holocaust Educational Trust are instrumental in keeping the memory alive.

    The significance of the site at Auschwitz-Birkenau goes far beyond bricks and mortar.

    In the face of those who would seek to distort or deny the truth, it stands as a physical reminder of the historical fact of the Holocaust.

    Just as we collect and preserve the stories of eyewitnesses, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp stands as a perpetual monument.

    The camp is on Polish soil today. But in the same way that the Holocaust touched lives all over Europe, many countries have a responsibility to contribute. We must ensure that the lessons from the Holocaust are taught today and to future generations.

    I'm proud to reaffirm the government's commitment to remembering the Holocaust, and working with all of Britain's different communities to put an end to prejudice and hatred today.

    Eric Pickles, MP, is the Communities Secretary

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