Facebook Discussion on Holocaust Memorial Centre in UK

So I went on Facebook this morning and a friend of mine posted about the £50 million being given by the government to a new Holocaust Memorial and Education Centre in London. My first initial thought when I saw this was “great! An horrific moment in human history and something we must make sure everyone remembers and future generations learn from”. But then he goes on to say how our public services are being cut under the austerity drive and could this money be better spent else where and also why are other attrocities (his example of the treatment the Irish suffered at the hands of the British) not being given the same kind of thing. And this got me thinking.

So lets break this down and look at each part:

The first and biggest part is the rememberance of the Holocaust and the unspeakable acts that happened, not only towards Jews in Nazi occupied Europe, but to all those in the prison camps. I will state this now: THIS MUST NEVER BE FORGOTTEN! Under no circumstance should any future generation be allowed to forget what ahppened during World War II. The only way we can learn for the future is by looking at the past and this must never be seen in our world again.

That being said, is spending £50million on a monument the best way of doing this? Would that money not be better spent going into the education system to ensure our schools and universities teach the next generation every aspect of the Holocaust, not only the surface levels that the media show us? I’m stuck in the middle. A monument does have an effect on people. Out of sight, out of mind. But if you’ve got a whacking great building stood in front of you, people go “oh yeah, thats for xyz”. Advertising at it were. It piques folks interest and then they investigate it further. But £50 million is a lot of money which I’m sure the education system would be happy to invest in teacher training/books/study aids to not only pique childrens interest, but to ensure that ALL of them know what happened.

Now we reach the part of “other attorcities”. I don’t think he gave this comment much thought at all, for two reasons:

  1. His use of the Irish is moot as the British government will NEVER erect a monument to things it did (yes, we treated you terribly, so have a statue as a way of saying sorry)
  2. Nothing like the Holocaust has ever happened before. Yes, there has been mass genocide all over the world for varying reasons (the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the genocide in Rwanda). but never on the systematic nature and speed with which the Nazis worked.

He mentioned slavery of African people sent to America and other things, but these acts were done over a sweeping time span. Through education, the countries involved in slavery were brought up and out of that and saw it for what it was, a barbaric act which actually hindered the development of their business (a paid person works much harder than a slave), because business was what drove slavery. The Holocaust was not business driven. It was a twisted ideology that infected a desperate people and gave them a glimmer of hope and a scapegoat for this position. The two, in my opinion, cannot be compared. Chalk and chesse without doubt.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I agree and disgaree with my friend. Yes, £50million during a time of austerity is a huge amount of money to spend when public services are being squeezed, but would £50million get the education system very much? I don’t know, but if this Memorial Centre is used as an education centre (almost museum) then good, I’ll go with it. No, the holocaust and slavery (of any people) cannot be compared because they arose (in my view) from very different circumstances. But without doubt, the most overriding thing of all this is:


Is Free Speech For All?

So I’ve just seen a comment on an old post I did on the holocaust. It was posted by someone called Baxter Buber and he simply said:


Why do you post a photograph of typhus victims as evidence for the so-called Jewish holocaust?

So I asked him to explain himself. No reply. So I checked out his website. A supporter for holocaust deniers.

Normally, I wouldn’t give these type of people the satisfaction of mentioning them in my blog, however his website does bring up an interesting debate. In many countries around the world, holocaust denial is a crime. The countries are:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel,LiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, RomaniaSlovakia, and Switzerland (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Now I whole-heartedly believe that the holocaust existed and these atrocious things occurred (how anyone can deny it is truly beyond me), but do people have a right to believe otherwise? Surely we fought the Nazi’s so we could have the right to deny their actions if we wished without fear or persecution.

Of course, these types of subjects have resonating effects to the present. In today’s world, there is still huge amounts of anti-Semitism and racism in all forms and holocaust denial could be seen as fanning these flames. But I still can’t shake the feeling that these people have a right to believe this, just in the same way I have the right to believe in Allah if I wish even though I live in a country where Muslim extremists have blown up my countrymen and attacked my people (just an example, please don’t start calling me a Muslim hater, cause I’m not!).

I want to post the link to this guys website, but I think openly posting it would be giving too much advertisement to a cause I REALLY disagree with. If you want it, e-mail me and I’ll pass it on.

Please, let’s get this discussion going. It’s an important discuss about free-speech, so let’s express our right too it!

Pictures of Horror

I’m reading an amazing book called Voices of Yesterday by Michael Yarwood. It is set in the Warsaw Ghetto during ’42-43 and the oppression and systematic extermination of the Jews by the Nazi’s. And the vivid words of the writer got me to thinking and imagining what these people went through, the suffering and brutality forced upon them by the Nazi’s (and not just Jews, but Romani, homosexuals, ethnic minorities and many more). The figures stand at around 6 MILLION Jews wiped out by the Nazi regime (2/3 of the European population of Jews). If you include the other  groups killed by the Nazi’s this figures rises to between 11-17 MILLION PEOPLE! All non-soldiers.

So I’ve done some surfing and found some pictures I’d like to share with you. Next time you hear someone verbally abuse someone or say racist or homophobic comments, show them these photos and ask them to look into the people’s eyes and put themselves in their shoes:

April 12, 1945: Lager Nordhausen, where 20,000 inmates are believed to have died.

A member of Einsatzgruppe D is about to shoot a man sitting by a mass grave in Vinnitsa, Ukraine, in 1942. Present in the background are members of the German Army, the German Labor Service, and the Hitler Youth.[94] The back of the photograph is inscribed “The last Jew in Vinnitsa”.

Jews captured and forcibly pulled out from dugouts by the Germans during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The photo is from Jurgen Stroop’s report to Heinrich Himmler

A child dying on the streets of the Warsaw Ghetto

Starving prisoners in Mauthausen camp liberated on May 5, 1945

Romani children in Auschwitz, victims of medical experiments

A grave inside Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

I’m sure some people who see this will still stick by their disturbing views of racial and religious superiority, but these people have no soul. No human being can look at these images, think clearly about what is being done and still condone secular violence or hatred of any kind. Please, I beg you all, educate each other and the youth of today.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it
-George Santayana