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David Miliband: ‘I don’t know if antisemitism is increasing in the UK’

Labour's former foreign secretary says there is "no room for complacency" over antisemitism in interview to promote his new book

    David Miliband has insisted it is a “terrifying thought” that 70 years after the Second World War, there is still antisemitism.

    But asked if Jew-hatred was on the rise in the UK, the former Labour MP and foreign secretary – who is now president and CEO of the US-based global relief organisation International Rescue Committee -  said: “The truth is, I don’t know.”

    Discussing the issue following  the publication of his new book, Mr Miliband added: “But one should proceed on the basis that there’s no room for complacency.

    “It’s a terrifying thought that 70 years after the second world war it should be present at all, never mind increasing.”

    His book, Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of Our Time, begins with an account of stories from his parents who came to Britain as refugees from Nazi Europe.

    Mr Miliband told the Observer that he had recently visited the Hailfingen concentration camp in Germany with his mother. The camp was where her father David Kozak died in 1945.

    He said the visit made him appreciate how fortunate he was.

    “It made me feel lucky.I wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for the extraordinary heroism on the part of the people who saved my mother.

    “I felt humbled, obviously I felt the passage of time. I felt real admiration for the Germans who are determined to find out the truth. The truth doesn’t repair the past, but it can liberate it. It doesn’t provide atonement, but a foundation on which to move forwards.”

    Marion Miliband had escaped harm during the war after a family in Warsaw gave her shelter. Her father’s fate came to light earlier this year following research by a German historical society.

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