Holocaust Memorial Day is a vitally important event that is relevant to all communities, all age groups and all individuals across the United Kingdom and beyond.
This part of our shared history must be remembered and commemorated and I’m pleased to serve in a government that wants to give as many people as possible the chance to understand and learn about our continent’s past. Many local events are taking place which focus on education so that the children of our future are able to understand and learn from the horrors of the past.
The theme of journeys this year recognises not only the physical journeys ending in tragedy and ones that ended in survival against all the odds, to the emotional journeys of endurance and rebuilding.
Learning and hearing about these journeys makes our history real and I hope that this will give us all the strength to challenge the prejudice, discrimination and hated that exists in communities today.
The United Kingdom has also consistently played a leading international role in remembering the Holocaust and ensuring that its lessons are learned by future generations.
This year we take on the Chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance through which we are actively working, with our international partners, to furthering international cooperation on Holocaust education, remembrance and research; to fighting the evils of Holocaust denial and denigration; and to do all we can to avert any future genocides. The new Holocaust Commission, launched by the Prime Minister, will also ensure that Britain has a permanent memorial to the Holocaust and educational resources for future generations.
As we remember the journeys of the holocaust and of subsequent genocides today – I hope we can commit ourselves to combating the hatred which allowed such atrocities to take place, and do all we can to ensure they are never repeated.