Posted on Wed 24 Jan 2018 at 14:11 by Adam Tomes
Holocaust Memorial Day
First of all, I am sorry that I can’t be with you this evening to recognise this time, to remember and to take stock of the lessons that the world must still learn. Holocaust Memorial Day is a time for us all to remember and commemorate the millions of people who have been and are still persecuted every single day across the world. This year’s message is one of sharing stories and ensuring that the memories of those who suffered are not lost to history.
In my early teens, I read the diary of Anne-Frank and I must admit that at the time, although I was incredibly moved by the story of a fellow young girl, I did not fully understand the gravity of what I was reading. It wasn’t until a few years later when I heard the personal story of a holocaust survivor that I really began to understand the context of what the words in Anne Frank’s diary really meant to history, modern day and even our future society.
It was the telling and listening of the story of a survivor that helped me to understand what the holocaust meant to the world and how the foundations of civilisation as we know it today were so fundamentally changed. It was the telling and sharing of one person’s, out of millions of stories, that means that I am now able to understand a little better the experiences of many people in our past but also in our world today.
We too, all have a story, of a time when we saw or experienced racism or hatred, or sexism or homophobia and it seems that the world hasn’t yet learned that the holocaust did not happen in isolation and that stories of persecution and of genocide and of hatred are still being written and created all over the world. If we don’t check in on and call out racism, hatred and discrimination as we see and hear it, we are not learning from these stories and we are failing those who were persecuted in our past.
If you haven’t already, read, listen and learn about the holocaust and subsequent genocides, you will not fail to be moved and only through listening and understanding, will we change the world laid out in front of us.