My blog on the Holocaust Commission Report

Seventy years ago today one of the darkest periods of Europe’s history came to an end as Auschwitz was liberated.

From the survivors who literally bear the scars of the inhumane suffering they experienced; to our young people in schools who hear what their grandparents’ peers, and in many cases their own grandparents, went through, the annual Holocaust Memorial Day remains an important day in our country’s calendar.

The geopolitical map of Europe was born out of the atrocities that people experienced. It is our job to ensure that we, and future generations, not only pause to acknowledge the scale of that suffering, but that we continue to learn from the legacy of the Holocaust.

When I meet young people who have taken part in the Lessons from Auschwitz project, and visited the former Nazi death camp in Poland, their stories serve as a reminder of the significance of commemorating these events. I am proud to have played my part as Schools Secretary in founding and funding their experience; but there is more to be done.

Over the last year I’ve had the privilege of continuing to contribute to taking that legacy forward as part of the Prime Minister’s cross party Holocaust Commission.

The commission has taken evidence from two expert groups and held numerous evidence sessions to make sure that a permanent and fitting memorial, reflective of the country’s feelings, is founded in Britain.

As was confirmed in Parliament this morning, and following a conversation I had with the Chancellor last night, there is cross-party agreement to fully fund the Commission recommendations, alongside ongoing funding for the vital work of the Holocaust Educational Trust for the rest of the decade.

Today’s commission publication commits to building a striking new national memorial in London, a world-class learning centre and an urgent programme to preserve the testimony of British Holocaust survivors and to do all of this.

I will be joining survivors at today’s Commemoration Ceremony to mark the seventieth anniversary of that liberation. I will stand with them to reflect on how those events led to the security and stability that we enjoy today. And I will do so in the knowledge that across Britain there is common purpose in making sure the legacy of the Holocaust remains a part of our country’s collective learning.

Click here to read the full report

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Posted January 27th, 2015 by Ed