Today is Holocaust Memorial Day - a time for us all to reflect on the Nazis attempt to wipe out Jews, Gypsies and other minority groups, Trade Unionists, Communists, homosexuals, people with mental and physical difficulties, Jehovah Witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other slavic peoples targeted for destruction and decimation for racial, ethnic and national reasons, along with black people and resistance fighters.
From the time they assumed power in 1933, the Nazis used persecution, propoganda, and legislation to deny human rights to so many. Using hate as their foundation.
By the end of the Holocaust over 8 million , men women and children had perished in ghettoes and mass shootings , in concentration camps and extermination camps.
Holocaust Memorial day is held today because it marks the liberation of Aushwitz-Birkenau , the largest of the Nazi Concentration Camps.
But is also used today to remember all subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur etc etc.
We must never forget the journeys of the persecuted. and when we say never again, we must mean never again.
But we still face so much tragedy, and persecution that should not exist, anti-muslim hate crimes have tripled,we have the 'jungle' of Calais, refugees in Cardiff forced to wear identifying red wristbands, doors of refugees painted red in Middlesbrough. The hate speech of Le Pen, and Donald Trump, fascist forces and assorted racists from a range of far right groups descending on the port of Dover, with the aim of inciting racial hatred.
We cannot afford to tolerate this, we must constantly oppose, or we will repeat the mistakes and crimes and terrible tragedy of the past. No to hatred and intolerance. Today I remember all those who died in the Holocaust , whilst watching history repeating itself, and people remaining silent.
Lest we forget.