Brown: ‘Don’t boycott HMD’
CHANCELLOR GORDON Brown has taken issue with groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain which have shunned involvement in Holocaust Memorial Day, which falls this weekend.
Speaking exclusively to the JC on Wednesday, Mr Brown said that “everybody should accept their responsibilities for playing a part in reminding whole communities of what happened”. HMD was “a very important national day both of education and remembrance”.
He believed “the most important thing is that young people are taught the lessons of this terrible and awful episode in our history”. Youngsters from his Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency have been involved in an Anne Frank festival.
Responding to last week’s JC/ YouGov poll finding that 28 per cent of young adults do not know about the Holocaust, the Chancellor said: “That’s the reason why it’s a good investment of resources to send schoolchildren [to Auschwitz] and give them a chance to see what happened. They will come back and tell people.”
Mr Brown signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, adding the message: “We must never forget but continue to talk about this dark episode in our history — for the sake of those who died and for the sake of future generations.”
MCB spokesman Inayat Bunglawala said the council was still conferring with British Muslims about whether to take a formal role in HMD.
NATASHA KAPLINSKY: My family were Holocaust victims, page 4