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Competition offers young people chance to join Holocaust Commission

Young people can be involved in making sure Britain has a fitting memorial to the Holocaust through a competition launched by Natasha Kaplinsky.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Holocaust Educational Trust
Photo credit: Yakir Zur

6 places are up for grabs to join a youth forum set up by the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission with 1 person having the chance to sit on the commission.

The commission is looking at ensuring there is a permanent and fitting memorial to the Holocaust and educational resources for future generations.

Competition

If you are 21 or under, you can enter by writing an essay answering the question ‘Why is it so important that we remember the Holocaust and how can we make sure future generations never forget?’ The closing date of the competition is Friday 30 May 2014.

1 winner will then be chosen by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel to join the commission as a youth member to feed in the views of the forum and help decide the final recommendations to be submitted to the Prime Minister.

Broadcaster and Holocaust Commission member Natasha Kaplinsky will officially launch the competition later today (Monday 17 February) at an event with young people hosted by The Holocaust Educational Trust.

The event will see 20 of the trust’s regional ambassadors, who have travelled to Auschwitz through its ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ project and now act as advocates for Holocaust education and awareness in their local communities, meet Holocaust survivor Gena Turgel who was liberated from Bergen-Belsen.

The Holocaust Educational Trust
Photo credit: Yakir Zur

Remembering the Holocaust

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

The young people who win this competition will have an incredibly important task ahead of them.

There will be a time when it won’t be possible for survivors to go into our schools to talk about their experiences. The Youth Forum and Young People’s Commissioner will play a vital role in making sure we continue to learn the lessons of the dreadful events of the Holocaust so that here in Britain no one ever forgets what happened.

Holocaust Commissioner Natasha Kaplinsky said:

This is the last generation of young people who will have any chance of hearing directly from a Holocaust survivor.

The views and ideas of young people on how we keep these precious memories alive are of the upmost importance. We want to hear from as many as possible. Every essay sent to us will be included as part of the Holocaust Commission’s nationwide call for evidence, with 6 feeding their views in at a special Downing Street forum and the winning essay writer joining me on the Holocaust Commission to make recommendations to the Prime Minister about the way forward.

Professor Elie Wiesel said:

We must ensure that no one can ever say the Holocaust belongs to the past. Not remembering is not an option and so witnesses who can say ‘I was there’ are key. But becoming a witness to a witness, as young people do when they hear the stories of survivors, is just as important.

The whole world was involved in the Holocaust for good or bad. Future generations must continue to strive to understand what made people able to act in the way they did.

Prime Minister Cameron’s Holocaust Commission will help Britain remember, it is vital young people play a role in this task.

Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, Karen Pollock MBE said:

This is an exciting opportunity for young people to shape how the UK will remember the Holocaust in years to come. They represent the generation who will pass on the memory of the Holocaust even when there are no eyewitnesses left to do so, and they have an important voice to be heard.

Call for evidence

Alongside the competition to find a Youth Commissioner, a nationwide public call for evidence is running until the end of May this year, with people across the country being invited to submit their views. A number of regional evidence sessions will also be held to hear from interested parties in person.

Published 17 February 2014