Tommy Sheppard

MP for Edinburgh East

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day

This week I signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging my commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people.

Friday 27th January will mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

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?’

After signing the Book of Commitment, I attended the debate on Holocaust Memorial Day.

I remember the first time I really became aware of what it means. In 1973 I was in my third year at secondary school. For my history project I chose the rise of fascism in Europe.

At the time my mother worked for an economics professor at the local university. On hearing of my chosen subject he explained to my mum that he was a survivor of the Holocaust and said he would be happy to discuss his experience with me.

I went into his study to meet David Dinaur, a gaunt erudite man in his late 50s. He began by showing me the numbers they tattooed on his arm in the concentration camp. We chatted for many hours then and on future occasions. I was privileged to learn first hand how he came to be detained and the horrors he had to endure.

It seemed so far removed from the comfort of his Edwardian sitting room. Another world, hard to believe it ever happened. Yet happen it did.

Since then I have argued throughout my life of the need to never forget what happened - and to be aware how easily millions of people were seduced into condoning genocide against their fellow human beings.

Holocaust  Memorial Day provides a focus for remembrance of the mass killings of six million Jewish people and as many again who faces did not fit the Nazi paradigm because they were communists, disabled, gay or Romany.

It also is a reminder of the need to give no quarter to anti-semitism or other racist attitudes which underpinned the Holocaust.

Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from Edinburgh East and across the country to reflect on the tragic events of the Holocaust. As the Holocaust moves from living history, to just history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the victims and also pay tribute to the survivors. I would encourage my constituents to show their support for such an important day.

 

 

The Supreme Court and Article 50
Debate on Leaving the EU: Security, Law Enforcemen...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, 11 December 2017

Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
11 December 2017
Tommy's Blog
It’s difficult to know where to start on last week’s Brexit developments. On Monday the Prime Minister was left scrabbling around after the DUP flexed their muscles and refused to agree the deal with the EU that would enable to them to move on to Phase 2 of negotiations.By the end of the week the deal was done and a joint statement was issued from the UK Government and negotiators from the Europea...
Tommy Sheppard
30 November 2017
My work for you in Edinburgh East
Tommy's Blog

I used my Evening News column this month to talk about fireworks following the extreme antisocial behaviour on bonfire night. I've also written to the Minister asking for the UK Government to toughen up licensing laws. And if they aren't willing to do that, devolve power over fireworks to the Scottish Parliament so they can act. Read the full article here.

 

Tommy Sheppard
30 November 2017
Tommy's Blog
My work for you in Westminster
The EU Withdrawal Bill entered its committee stage this month in the House of Commons.  As it is a constitutional bill it is considered by a committee of the whole house – in other words all MPs consider it in the main chamber. While hundreds of amendments were tabled, only a few are selected for a vote each day. There will be eight days of debate in total, three of which took place in November. O...
Tommy Sheppard
23 November 2017
Tommy's Blog
My work for you in Westminster
So the EU Withdrawal Bill was back in the Commons for Day 3 of the committee stage this week and, as promised, I’m writing to update you on what happened.Before I talk about the Bill itself, you might be interested in the events of Monday’s Ways and Means debate. Ways and Means is a traditional term for taxes or other charges levied on the public in order to fund Government spending. And while not...
Tommy Sheppard
16 November 2017
Tommy's Blog
My work for you in Westminster
I know how difficult it can be to not only keep up with what is happening as Brexit proceeds, but to understand the antiquated political systems that make up the UK parliament. So I will be sharing regular updates as the Bill makes its way through parliament. As you may be aware, the Bill entered its committee stage this week in the House of Commons. That means MPs debate specific aspects of the B...