Holocaust Memorial Day

I’m a bit annoyed with myself. This year is the first year I’ve missed a Holocaust Memorial Day service, which took place last night at the Chaplaincy at the University. It wasn’t my fault; I had to work. But at the same time if I’d thought ahead I could have made sure I wasn’t working. What’s worse is that I also missed the Remembrance Sunday service because my alarm didn’t go off and I slept straight through. Back at home I normally mark this occasion with a big parade through my local village with my scout district and it was a shame to not be there this time. So this is my way of commemorating the event

I think it’s imperative that we continue to mark events such as Holocaust Memorial Day. Only by remembering the mistakes in humanity’s history can we ensure that something similar doesn’t happen again. It is for this reason that Holocaust Denial is a crime in some countries; if we don’t remember it, it could end up happening again.

The problem is, though, that similar things have happened again. Saddam Hussein’s extermination of the Kurds and Marsh Arabs, the Rwandan genocide of the Tutsis by the Hutu, the Bosnian genocide in Srebrenica, and the Darfur conflict, which Colin Powell declared genocide in 2004, and which still continues today.

So is humanity learning from its mistakes? I don’t think so, in spite of the efforts of the organisers of Holocaust Memorial Day. It seems to me that the only time this remembrance is ever put into practice is when the government brings in a particularly adventurous piece of legislation, or an example of the “nanny state” is brought up, then people refer to it as “Nazi” in order to garner up opposition to it.

This is an insult to the memory of the millions of people who died in the Holocaust and in the Second World War.

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