Holocaust ex­hi­bi­tion cen­tre opens to warn­ing about de­nial

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY RUTH ROTHENBERG

OPEN­ING THE Holocaust Ex­hi­bi­tion and Learn­ing Cen­tre at Hud­der­s­field Univer­sity, Lord Pick­les said the fight against Holocaust de­nial had never been more im­por­tant.

The Tory peer — Spe­cial En­voy for Post-Holocaust Is­sues and co-chair of the UK Holocaust Me­mo­rial Foun­da­tion — told guests that hits on ed­u­ca­tional Shoah web­sites were out­num­bered by those on de­nial sites. “When I up­loaded a pic­ture I took at Auschwitz, I got a tweet say­ing it never hap­pened, there were no mur­ders — it was just a tran­sit camp.”

The pro­ject’s main fi­nanc­ing was from the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund. Its chair, Sir Peter Luff, said: “I am so pleased with the £600,000 given. Her­itage is not al­ways com­fort­ing and re­as­sur­ing. This is us­ing her­itage to show dark pe­ri­ods.”

He re­called a visit to the Ger­man villa where the Wannsee Con­fer­ence had been held to dis­cuss im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Fi­nal So­lu­tion.

He was shown pa­pers list­ing Jews in each Euro­pean coun­try, oc­cu­pied and un­oc­cu­pied. The list for Bri­tain had 330,000 names. Yet “an­tisemitism is the Sur­vivors Heinz Skyte, Trude Sil­man and Arek Hersh

shock­ing re­al­ity in mod­ern Bri­tain”.

The ex­hi­bi­tion was praised as a “com­pre­hen­sive, mod­ern state-of-theart me­mo­rial” by Ger­man his­to­rian Dr Jens-Chris­tian Wag­ner. “Ed­u­ca­tional work does not change the minds of an­ti­semites but it can make peo­ple more aware at a time when racism, pop­ulism and xeno­pho­bia are rife, as now.”

The driv­ing force be­hind the pro­ject is Lil­ian Black, daugh­ter of sur­vivors and chair of the lo­cal Holocaust Sur­vivors’ Friend­ship As­so­ci­a­tion. She had wanted it to be sited “in a place of higher ed­u­ca­tion”.

The ex­hi­bi­tion opens to the pub­lic next week and a num­ber of schools are al­ready booked in.

I got a tweet say­ing that Auschwitz never hap­pened’

PHO­TOS: CHAR­LOTTE GRA­HAM — CAG PHOTOGRAPHY

Arek Hersh shows his con­cen­tra­tion camp tat­too

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