Sunday January 27th will mark the 68th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi concentration and extermination camp which is the site of the largest mass murder in history. In the weeks running up to the day, the Holocaust Educational Trust placed a Book of Commitment in the House of Commons, giving MPs the chance to honour those who were persecuted and killed during the Holocaust and encouraging constituents to work together to combat prejudice and racism today.
In signing the Book of Commitment, Mr Robertson paid tribute to those who perished during the Holocaust and honoured the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people about what they endured, through the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Outreach programme.
In the weeks leading up to and after Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. This year, people will also be encouraged to honour those communities that have been destroyed by genocide and reflect on the importance of coming together to oppose prejudice and hatred.
John Robertson MP said:
“Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity to remember the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. I encourage all constituents to mark the day and to join members of community in the fight against prejudice and intolerance.”
Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:
“We are proud that John Robertson is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day this year. It is vitally important that we both remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust – as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge all forms of hatred and bigotry.”
About the Holocaust Educational Trust
- Founded by Lord Janner of Braunstone and the late Lord Merlyn Rees, the Holocaust Educational Trust was formed in 1988 as a result of renewed interest and need for knowledge about the Holocaust during the passage of the War Crimes Act. Our aim is to raise awareness and understanding in schools and amongst the wider public of the Holocaust and its relevance today. We believe the Holocaust must have a permanent place in our nation’s collective memory.
- One of the Trust’s first achievements was to ensure that the Holocaust was included in the National Curriculum for England in 1991 – for Key Stage 3 students (11-14 year olds). We also successfully campaigned to have the assets of Holocaust victims and survivors released and returned to their rightful owners.
- Since 1999 the Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project has given thousands of post-16 students and teachers the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau as part of a four-part educational programme. The Project is now in its fourteenth year and has taken more than 18,000 students and teachers from across the UK to Auschwitz-Birkenau, as well as many MPs and other guests. We recently marked our 100th project visit.
- Having played a crucial role in the establishment of Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK in 2001, the Trust continues to play a key role in the delivery of this national commemorative day.
- We work in schools, colleges and higher education institutions, providing teacher training workshops and lectures, as well as teaching aids and resource materials.
- Every year in the days leading up to Holocaust Memorial Day, HET places a Book of Commitment in the House of Commons for MPs to sign and pledge to remember the Holocaust and act on its contemporary lessons.
- The Holocaust Educational Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee,registered in England and Wales (1092892) and in Scotland (SC042996). We rely on individual donations to produce our resources and deliver our educational programmes, with the exception of the Lessons from Auschwitz Project, which is supported by a Government grant. If you would like information on how to donate to HET and support our work, please call us on 020 7222 6822, visit our website www.het.org.uk, and follow us on Twitter: @HolocaustUK and Facebook: Holocaust Educational Trust (UK).