On 25 January the FCO hosted an event with the Embassy of Israel to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. This event, held each year, provides an opportunity not only to focus on the horrors of the Holocaust, but to also consider how the UK can further promote Holocaust education and remembrance.
Over 180 people were in attendance, with a wide range of representatives from the London Diplomatic Community, Parliamentarians, academics and civil society. During the event, those present heard from Holocaust survivor Dorit Oliver-Wolff, who shared her remarkable journey from surviving the Second World War to becoming a celebrated performer. Dorit was born a Hungarian Jew and danced in front of the future king of Yugoslavia at just four years old; by six years old she was hiding from German soldiers rounding up and transporting her fellow Jews to concentration camps around Europe. Her inspiring story can be found here.
Following the event, Baroness Anelay said:
I believe that the value of remembering the Holocaust comes when we think about the conditions that allowed such horrors to prevail. When we recall it was the existence of widespread antisemitism across Europe that meant the Nazis’ desire to purge society of anyone who did not fit their ideal found fertile ground. When we reflect on what we might possibly have done in the same circumstances. And when we examine our own prejudices and seek to combat them, and prompt others to do likewise.
There was also time for remembrance and reflection during the El Maleh Rahamim (prayer for the souls of the departed).
Baroness Anelay’s speech can be found here.