Remembering the Holocaust and human rights

Rachel Krys blogs about remembering the human rights atrocities of the Holocaust and what human rights mean for all of us today:

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK. 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. 70 years since the reality of what had been happening across Europe could no longer be ignored by the world.

70 years has not reduced the horror of what happened. We have had 70 years of witnesses to one of the unspeakable episodes of human history, speaking out about their experiences. And 70 years of telling these stories has not diminished the need for the story to be told, again, and again, and again.

When we talk about human rights in the UK today, we should remember what it means when they are taken away from some people. When we are told about the prejudice, the intolerance, the ignorance and the unfairness which the victims of the Holocaust experienced in the years before they went to the concentration camps, we must look to our society now. And we are forced to ask ourselves if we have learned all of the lessons which can be learned from this bit of our history?

Lily thinks we still have a lot to learn, so she is telling children in schools across the world about her time in Auschwitz.

Ruth escaped from Germany, and her experience of the Holocaust teaches us a lot about why human rights are so important for all of us today.

Human rights are not nice-to-have privileges bestowed on citizens by a benevolent state. Human rights protect the fundamental values of equality, freedom and justice, for all of us. 70 years after the liberation of Auschwitz is a good day to remember that, there is never a good day to forget it.

Posted 27 January 2015

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