Holocaust Memorial Day: inadequate and misleading responses
Last Friday, Holocaust Memorial Day, was commemorated in the Town Hall by Bournemouth’s Mayor and Councillors, together with survivors, our Orthodox and Reform rabbis, many members of the non-Jewish community and very few members of the Jewish community. Where was our missing community? How sad that we could count only about a dozen. Surely more could have spared an hour or so.
Three local schoolgirls paid a beautiful tribute to survivor, Walter Kammerling who, at his great age, still visits schools to tell and inform. Other people spoke movingly of their experiences. Our rabbis said Kaddish.
We then crossed the road to the Auschwitz Memorial in Bournemouth Gardens, where a candle was lit. The weather was fine. Where were they all? What a disgrace. We felt ashamed. Leon and Rhona Taylor, Bournemouth, BH2
I went to a local Holocaust Day memorial event where the atrocities committed in Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur and Cambodia were also remembered. There were several moving testimonies from young Serbian and Cambodian survivors but the Holocaust was portrayed in a film (which I had seen before). Unfortunately, soon this will be the only way in which the Shoah can be related.
While I am of course aware that Jewish people do not wish to claim that historically they have suffered more than anyone else, in my opinion the Holocaust really was different.
It is the only mass killing where one nation influenced so many other nations to collude in the destruction of a single people, with the declared purpose of annihilating of every Jew on the face of the earth.
I am sure HMD is a very important event which aims to teach everyone the lessons of the past and which recognises that genocide does not just take place on its own, and that it is a steady process that begins with discrimination leading to racism and hatred, but when at the end of the ceremony six candles were lit to commemorate six genocides which have taken place across the world, again I felt that the number six should be reserved for the commemoration of the six million Jews.