Mrs Wheeler signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, pledging her 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 today.
Holocaust Memorial Day falls on 27th January every year, the anniversary of the liberation of the infamous former Nazi concentration and death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, in 1945. Across the UK – and world – people will come together to remember the horrors of the past.
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 ‘Fragility of Freedom’.
On Holocaust Memorial Day we also remember and pay tribute to all of those persecuted by the Nazis, including Roma and Sinti people, disabled people, gay men, political opponents to the Nazis and others. We also remember all of those affected by genocide since, in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
Heather said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for everyone to reflect on the darkest times of European history. It is important to remember the six million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered in the Holocaust and speak out against all forms of antisemitism, which in recent months has risen exponentially and which needs to be tackled head on.
“I was really pleased to read that this week our own South Derbyshire Visitor Centre in Swadlincote has put together an exhibition focusing on the Holocaust Memorial Day which runs until the 30th January. I have not had a chance to visit it yet but am hoping to drop in at some point.”
Karen Pollock CBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:
“On Holocaust Memorial Day, we remember the six million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators, and we honour those who survived.
When the concentration camps of Europe were liberated, the reality of the Nazi attempt to eradicate world Jewry became clear. In newspapers, cinema and radio broadcasts the atrocities were laid bare. The phrase ‘Never Again’ was coined, reflecting the hope that the Holocaust would forever represent the ultimate result of anti-Jewish hatred; a warning signal for generations to come of where unchecked antisemitism could lead.
“This Holocaust Memorial Day, as antisemitism once again sweeps across the globe, it is more important than ever to remember the six million Jewish victims and remind ourselves that anti-Jewish racism did not begin nor end with the Holocaust.”