Each year on January 27th, Holocaust Remembrance Day is commemorated to remember the millions of people who perished during the Holocaust, especially the six million Jews and the millions more who died as a result of Nazi persecution of other groups. In addition to the millions of victims of recent genocides in Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda, and Cambodia.
Holocaust Memorial Day is a day to reflect on the lessons learned from the past and recognise that genocide is a gradual process that is fuelled by unchecked discrimination, hate speech and racism.
The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘Ordinary People’. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust chose this theme as it leads us to remember the important role that the ordinary person plays in both enabling as well as preventing genocide.
Genocides are facilitated by ordinary people who turn a blind eye, fall victim to propaganda and participate in murderous regimes. The victims do not have the option to speak out against genocide, but ordinary people do. The aim of focusing on ordinary people is that it might cause ourselves to reflect on how people like us, no matter how ordinary, have a bigger impact than we might think on today’s fight against discrimination.
Holocaust Memorial Day is a reminder of the dangerous consequences of leaving discrimination unchecked and how as a society more must be done to create a safer future.
Chris Evans MP said:
“Holocaust Memorial Day is a time for us to reflect, remember, and recommit to our obligation of making sure that such suffering never occurs again.”
“Holocaust Memorial Day is a reminder to all of us that we cannot stay silent or stand by idly when we witness discrimination. To prevent a tragedy like this from happening again, the testimonies of those who suffered and were murdered in the Holocaust must live on.”
“This year’s theme encourages us to think about our own responsibility to speak out against discrimination and the power of each individual to help combat genocide. For genocides can only take place, when ordinary people say and do nothing”.
“If we are to uphold the promise that was made after the Holocaust of ‘never again’, as a country we need to be doing everything in our power to protect human rights and to protect other’s right to practice their cultural and religious identities.”