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Reflecting as we mark World Holocaust Day in this home

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 27 January 2014

On this day in 1945 the Red Army entered Auschwitz to encounter industrial scale horrors. Hence today is World Holocaust Day, 24 hours to reflect and ponder. In this household, as in homes across the world, we are burning a candle as a sign that we will not forget.

It is important to make a positive effort not to forget when one faces a daily barrage from those who either deny the holocaust, those who seek to diminish its importance by claiming that numbers were inflated or, worst of all, those who trivialise it by describing any event as a holocaust.

There are places in the world where deaths occur driven by hatred, intolerance and anger. But perhaps only in Cambodia and Ruanda have we seen anything on the scale of the holocaust where genocide was committed against an entire race on an industrial scale with the intent of wiping out that race. Those who use the term holocaust liberally to describe any death seek to trivialise true evil.  In doing so they become apologists for evil. And yes folks like David Ward MP, Baroness Tongue and others I am talki9ng about you.

In not forgetting the attempt to exterminate European Jewry the lessons I take are not only that anti-Semitism is still alive and kicking, the acceptable form of racism for many on the liberal left and that this is something that should be exposed and fought at every level. I also take the lesson that it is all too easy to demonise other minorities as well. 

Although radical Islam does the broader Muslim community no favours (not least in the way that some of its practitioners support the aims of Hitler with regards to the Jews, homosexuals and others), many of the comments one sees today about Muslims in our society could have come right out of the Streicher hate manuals of the 1930s. In this respect twitter can be an abomination.

One can legitimately regard the aims of militant Islam as being pretty loathsome but to allow that to slipping into demonising an entire grouping merely based on religious leanings is heading down a very dangerous slope. That is perhaps something else to contemplate on World Holocaust Day.


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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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