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Holocaust Memorial Day: keep the memory alive

Tuesday 27-01-2015 - 10:00

Each year on 27 January, people all over the world mark Holocaust Memorial Day to pay remembrance to the millions who lost their lives in the Holocaust and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) has taken place since 2001 and in 2004 The United Nations voted, by 149 votes out of 191, to formally commemorate the Holocaust atrocity.

Each year HMD follows a specific topic or theme. Today (27 January 2015) marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau as well as the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and so this year, the theme is ‘Keep The Memory Alive’ which is designed to make us think about the rights, responsibility and duty we all have to speak up when we see or hear something which we believe to be wrong.

HMD is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own, it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented.

Although we’re fortunate not so be at risk of genocide in the UK, discrimination has not ended, nor has the use of the language of hatred or exclusion. There is still much to do to create a safer future and HMD is an opportunity to start this process.

Holocaust Memorial Day is promoted and supported by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT). For more information on their work and activities your union can organise to mark HMD in your area, please visit www.hmd.org.uk.

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