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Foreign Secretary leads calls to remember victims of the Holocaust

The Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and the Israeli Embassy host Holocaust Memorial Day event at Foreign Office

  • James Cleverly and Israeli Embassy host Holocaust Memorial Day event at Foreign Office
  • The Foreign Secretary speaks of the importance of learning from the Holocaust and grieving for all those who died
  • Concentration camp survivor Manfred Goldberg and Israel’s Ambassador to the UK also attend the first in-person memorial event at the FCDO in three years.

The Foreign Secretary said we all share “a solemn duty” to remember the six million victims of the Holocaust – as the UK and Israel jointly commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) with a ceremony at the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.

The event, co-hosted by the FCDO and the Israeli Embassy in the UK, was part of a long-standing collaboration between the UK and Israel to mark HMD and returns in-person for the first time in three years.

The Foreign Secretary gave a speech to attendees reflecting on his own visit, last year, to Radegast station in Lodz in Poland where 200,000 Jewish men, women and children were transported to Nazi death camps.

In his speech, the Foreign Secretary spoke of the “solemn duty to remember” that “every one of us shares.”

Stutthof Concentration Camp survivor, Manfred Goldberg BEM, also shared his testimony with guests at the ceremony, including representatives from the Jewish community, diplomatic community, civil society, Parliamentarians, and other communal leaders.

UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, said:

Every one of us shares a solemn duty to remember that six million men, women and children were killed during the Holocaust.

When we say the words “never again”, we must mean it, heart and soul.

We owe it to all who were not saved to reflect, to learn, to grieve, and above all, to remember.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, said:

Today, we remember the six million Jewish people murdered in the Holocaust, as well as the millions of other lives who perished at the hands of Nazism. We reflect on the systematic murder of ordinary people and the immense pain and suffering needlessly inflicted on so many. “We also consider the terrible consequences of when other ordinary people stand idly by and allow the initial roots of hatred to take hold. We, therefore, renew our promise to forever challenge prejudice in all its forms wherever it occurs, so that the horrors of the Holocaust are never repeated.

The Rt Hon. the Lord Pickles, the UK’s Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues and Co-Chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, said:

Sadly, the number of direct witnesses to the Holocaust are dwindling and that is why we must ensure that what they endured, what they witnessed is never forgotten. We should make it our mission to ensure that no one questions the basic facts of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million European Jews by the Nazi German regime and its allies and collaborators.

We owe it to the six million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered during the Holocaust, survivors, and refugees to reclaim their rights, their history, their cultural heritage and traditions, and their dignity.

Both the Embassy of Israel and the FCDO will mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday 27th January 2023, by lighting up their respective buildings in purple, in honour of all victims of genocide.

Further information

The Foreign Secretary, The Rt Hon. James Cleverly MP, the Israeli Ambassador, Her Excellency Tzipi Hotovely, and The Rt Hon. Lord Pickles, UK Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues and Co-Chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation gave speeches at the ceremony.

The Rt Hon. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and United Nations also delivered an Elie Wiesel poem during the event.

Following the ceremony, the Ambassador, Lord Ahmad and Lord Pickles to viewed two exhibitions, provided by the Wiener Holocaust Library. The exhibitions, named Fate Unknown, which details the ongoing search for missing victims of the Holocaust, and A Thousand Kisses: Stories of the Kindertransport, both have relevance to this year’s theme for Holocaust Memorial Day - ‘Ordinary People’.

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-leads-calls-to-remember-victims-of-the-holocaust

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