“The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again” George Santayana
Holocaust Memorial Day is held on 27th January and it is a date of commemoration that we should all take part in because it allows us to remember the millions killed during the Holocaust and in subsequent genocides. With every passing year, another Holocaust survivor is lost and the responsibility of ensuring that their stories are not forgotten falls upon us.
Every year the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has a theme that is used to commemorate the occasion. The year’s theme was ‘Don’t Stand By’. This theme not only encourages us to look back at those who did not stand by during the Holocaust and risked their lives to help others; but also to current affairs, in particular at the current migrant crisis in Europe, and to how we can help in any way at all.
It is important that we take a moment at some point this Holocaust Memorial Day week and remember those who suffered and perished for no other reason than that they were perceived as “different”. I believe it is also important that we are not standing by to prejudice and inequality every single day of the year; be that by donating clothes to Syrian refugees, helping out in our local food banks or simply donating £1 to a local charity. We must look back and remember our history and we must take action to ensure that the Holocaust remains a twentieth century phenomenon.