Newcastle North MP, Catherine McKinnell, has this week reaffirmed her commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day by signing the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment which honours those who were murdered during the Holocaust, as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people on this issue.
Holocaust Memorial Day – now held annually on 27th January – falls on the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.
Catherine visited the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau in October 2016 with a delegation of almost 200 young students from the North East, in a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust as part of its ‘Lessons from Auschwitz project’.
The Newcastle North MP also praised the Trust’s work in educating young people about the importance of never forgetting and repeating what took place during the Holocaust, during a debate about Holocaust Memorial Day held in Parliament yesterday (19th January) – a debate which Catherine co-sponsored following her visit last year.
In the lead up to, and on, 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. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘How can life go on?’, and details of events being held in Newcastle are available here.
‘This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is particularly poignant for me following what was an incredibly powerful and challenging visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau in the Autumn. And it becomes ever more poignant each year as the number of people who survived this most appalling experience and are no longer with us increases, as time passes by.
‘We must take every opportunity to listen to those who were there, and properly record their experiences, to ensure what they went through is never forgotten.’
Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:
‘Our mission is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance. We are very grateful to Catherine for signing the Book of Commitment, signalling a continued commitment to remembering the victims of the Holocaust as well as challenging antisemitism, prejudice and bigotry in all its forms.’