Today, many thousands of people across the UK and Europe gather to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. This honours the estimated six million European Jews systematically murdered during the Holocaust, lasting from early-1941 to mid-1945. To avoid depressing you all with the harrowing details of the atrocity, instead, today I will focus primarily on the liberation and the lessons that have since be learned and emerged out of the Holocaust.
Exactly 74 years ago to this day, Auschwitz concentration camp, seen as the international symbol of the Holocaust, was liberated by the Soviet Red Army. Auschwitz was the largest concentration and extermination centre throughout Europe and became the grave of over 1.1 million people. Upon its liberation, only a few thousand inmates remained. Unfortunately, this was not uncommon and in every camp, Allied forces were met with horrendous scenes and the aftermath of mass-murder.
Thankfully, no genocide has since equalled the death toll or lasting impact of the Holocaust, however, it is a terrible reminder of the recurring possibilities of mankind’s inhumanity towards each other, when driven by immoral ideologies- antisemitism in this case. Humankind has been taught a crucial lesson on the dangers of greed and racism. Although the current social and political landscape differs greatly from that during the Second World War, it is important to acknowledge that the presence of many forms of discrimination still exist and affect people on a daily basis. History has taught us that together, the determination of good people will ultimately prevail over any prejudiced opposition, therefore it is collectively our responsibility to confront and overcome this ongoing issue.
We will remember those who suffered and lost their lives during the Holocaust, and I hope that this article has inspired its readers to reflect on such horrors and has also inspired you all to stand up to antisemitism in the world today.
Ed Vaughan, 27th January 2019, 17:49