Friday, 27 January 2017

The Warning of the Holocaust

Every year, I post something on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Every year, I recall the terrible events of the Holocaust that we might remember the dead.

Every year, I recall the Holocaust that we might remember it occurred in Europe at the behest of a democratically elected leader.

Every year, I recall the Holocaust that we might be warned from history to be vigilant to prevent such a thing happening ever again.

Never, in my lifetime, has the warning of the Holocaust seemed so urgent.  In the USA, a democratically elected President has suggested that the crimes of immigrants are published in national newspapers, as Hitler did in Germany for Jews.  In the USA, the President wants a register of Muslims, as Hitler required a register of Jews.  In the USA, the press have been targeted and attacked where they criticise the regime, as Hitler did in Germany.  In the UK, the Daily Mail called the supreme court judges "Enemies of the People" as Hitler did to German judges.  This week, Denial, a film about the trial of Holocaust denier David Irving, is released and reminds us that, despite the huge weight of evidence and personal testimony, people deny the Holocaust even took place.

In the UK and the USA, and many other nations, there is an increased narrative dehumanising immigrants and asylum seekers, blaming them for economic woes, and turning the population against them.

I will not apologise if this seems alarmist.  I just want to heed warnings from history.  This is urgent.  Be afraid.  Warn people.  Do not stand by as governments chip away at the rights of certain groups.  Learn from history.

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