Holocaust Memorial Day 27th January

    Holocaust Memorial Day 27th January

    Today Friday, the 27th January, Jewish people the length and breadth of the UK, and their friends, will light a candle to remember the millions cruelly slaughtered during the Holocaust.

    It will be precisely 78 years since the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland was liberated by Russian troops as the free world rallied to defeat the evil Nazi regime. The Holocaust was the most despicable example of man’s inhumanity to man in history, as an estimated six million Jewish people were killed. The anti-Semitism, hatred of Jewish people, was used by the German leaders to galvanise a nation, and by the start of the Second World War many of the Jewish communities’ civil rights in Germany had been removed… but far worse was to come.

    Adolf Hitler’s evil vision was to rid the world of Jewish people and, three years into the war German generals had devised their chillingly named ‘Final Solution’ and the mass murder of Jews began. Only when the Russian troops arrived at Auschwitz on 27th January 1945, was there a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel for these proud and brave people.

    The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘Ordinary People’. It was ordinary people who facilitated the genocide and ordinary people who suffered persecution, not for any crimes committed but purely because of who they were. Over a million people were at Auschwitz alone and 90 per cent of those were Jewish, with Roma citizens also a target for the Nazis.

    Jews Don’t Count

    Writer and comedian David Baddiel published his book, ‘Jews don’t Count’ in 2021 to recount his experiences, living as a Jewish person in 21st century Europe, and to attack the ignorance of anti-Semitism by supposed progressives. In his book Baddiel focuses on anti-Semitism in popular and social media and he argues that Jews are not seen as a minority group and there has developed a hierarchy of racisms, with anti-Semitism low down the list.

    Baddiel says that anti-Semitism has become a ‘second class racism’ with stereotypes liberally banded about and he argues that Jewish people are often tainted with the idea they have ‘white privilege’ which apparently allows a safety against racism.

    Sadly that was not the experience of young Arsenal fan Katie Price (not that one) last week when her beloved Gunners beat Spurs in the North London Derby. Katie was wearing Arsenal colours in an Arsenal pub celebrating the victory with other fans in the packed Cally Pub on Caledonian Road. Near the end of the game a group of fans started chanting ‘We hate Tottenham’ and Katie and her friend joined in; but when the next chant included anti-Semitic abuse she asked the fans behind her to wind it down a bit, a which point they turned on her, calling her a dirty y*d, and threatening to beat up her friend, and so the two of them left the pub. One of the best days of the season for Katie had been ruined by this idiocy from supposed fans of her club. They should just grow up.

    Less than a century after the atrocity of the Holocaust, the scourge of anti-Semitism hits individuals and communities worldwide and, while we can proclaim to be among the most tolerant and welcoming people on the planet we can always improve. We must walk the walk as well as talking the talk to rid our country of this and all other forms of racism.

    Jews do count.


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