Don’t Stand By: Taking Action on Hatred and Injustice
Since 2001, the 27th January has marked a sombre occasion, as the UK and many other parts of the world commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. An event which remembers the horrors and unprecedented tragedy of not only the Nazi Holocaust in the course of the Second World War, but other recognised atrocities such as those in Bosnia, Cambodia and Darfur. This year marked the 70th Anniversary since the liberation of Auschwitz and young people were amongst those invited to the special event held in London to mark the day, with the main proceedings broadcast on the BBC later in that evening.
With the support of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT), a charity specifically established to promote awareness of the occasion, next year’s theme has been titled ‘Don’t Stand By’. Launched in a Parliamentary reception, which was attended by a number of high-profile politicians, including former Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, the premise of this new theme advocates the importance of not wilfully staying silent when persecution and hatred occur within our communities.
Genocides are largely caused by exclusion and intolerance of individuals based on their race or religion, this allowed the Nazi regime the opportunity to commit the acts which they did. While the majority of the Nazi’s victims were Jews, other groups, who still face prejudice to the present day, like LGBT and disabled individuals, were equally also victims of the Holocaust.
Launched with a resource pack to help provide ideas for community groups to run their own events, there is no better time for young people to get involved and champion the cause. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) have a programme dedicated for those under 24 years old and providing workshops and events.
By Jack Welch