Yom Hashoah – I Remember

Today is Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day.

A day to ponder on one of the greatest evils of human history, when Hitler tried to exterminate the Jewish people. A day to keep alive the memory of those who perished for no greater reason than an innate element of their identity.  A day for me to be grateful that – thanks to the resoluteness and immense community spirit of the wartime British (the ultimate example of the big society?) – my grandparents and the grandparents of many of my Jewish friends were not amongst those who are now, for so many, just part of that fearful number – 6,000,000. But Yom Hashoah is also a day of resoluteness. It is a day to reinforce the message encapsulated in the two words “never again”. It is a day to look, for example, to the appalling crimes against humanity being committed in Syria and to ask why so many parts of the international community are happy to sit idly by and let it happen.

Rabbi Lord Sacks has a thought provoking piece today in the Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chief-rabbi-lord-sacks/yom-hashoah-remember-from-the-depths-of-the-jewish-soul_b_1431889.html

If you do nothing else to commemorate today, take two minutes to read that.

Lord Sacks touches on the importance of youth and remembrance. Sadly, as he points out, inevitably the survivors of the Holocaust becomes fewer and fewer. If you have never heard a survivor speak I urge you to go out of your way to do so before it is too late.  It is an experience that you will never forget and will imbibe you with an account that you can pass on to future generations.

I know that this blog is read by people from all parts of the political spectrum, but I hope on Holocaust Remembrance Day we can find common cause and can find a couple of minutes to pause, to reflect, to remember, and to hope.

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