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Who Should Be Commemorated On Holocaust Memorial Day And Why?

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#1 his.story

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:46 PM

I just want people's opinion to put together this project :) I already know who to commemorate but my main Question is WHY we should commemorate them- your opinion :)

#2 Mr. D. Bryant

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:08 PM

I hope you don't mind, but I think this topic would be better placed in the student discussion forum. In case no-one replies, because it is half-term for most people, have a look at this thread on the Holocaust which might help.

#3 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:43 PM

I was lucky enough to be invited recently to the Holocaust Educational Trust's annual HMD lecture, and it was fab!

It sums up all the conflicting things that HMD is about.
Martha Kearney was in the chair, and told a moving personal story about her mother-in-law. For many people still, HD is about painful personal memories, and paying tribute to loved ones who have been lost. As time goes on, of course, that applies to fewer and fewer people. A Holocaust survivor has personal memories of suffereing, and their children do too (though about someone else who suffered); in two or three generations time, things will be different.

Baroness Warsi - Chairman of the Tory Party and a government minister - was there, and related the Holocaust to modern issues - persecution that is happening today, and racial prejudice in our own country and (on a personal note) how much it made her realise that she loves her own daughter.

Martin Gilbert, the historian, used it as an opportunity to talk about the different ways in which Jews responded to the Holocaust. This is a big issue of mine too - historians need to revise the way they present the Holocaust. Usually, all they talk about is how the jews were VICTIMS of the Nazis; my point is that this just gives the Nazis the victory - it sort of says: 'Yes they were very nasty, but didn't they half give it to them Jews'. This, of course, is all wrong; the Jews triumphed during the Holocaust in many ways - sometimes in rebellion, sometimes in escape, and sometime by just going nobly and unfraid to death. If Martin Gilbert was not such an important historian, and if I was anything other than an unknown, I would say it was lovely to see that Sir Martin Gilbert had adopted my attitude!!!

And finally, there were some 'student ambassadors' there, who had been on the HET's free trips to Auschwitz. Their reports were all along the lines of how awesome the emotional impact of Auschwitz had been (a sort of 'touristy-spiritual' response, and how it had made them determined that 'it must never happen again'. This is a very common response, and the HMD materials which come out to schools now include stuff on things like the Rwandan massacres etc.

So mourning, historical understanding, commemoration and some kind of personal response.

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