Sharon Hodgson MP meets survivors of the Holocaust at a launch of resources for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 in Parliament.
Sharon pictured here with Martin Stern in Parliament
This week Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, listened to Otto Deutsch, who was rescued by the Kindertransport during the Holocaust; and Martin Stern, a Holocaust survivor; at the launch event for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 in Parliament.
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is commemorated each year on 27 January – the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death and concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland at the end of the Second World War.
HMD provides an opportunity for everyone to learn lessons from the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
HMD asks people to apply these lessons to the present day to create a safer, better future.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) promotes and supports HMD activities in the UK.
Each year the HMDT selects a theme around which HMD activities can focus. The theme for 2016 is "Don’t stand by".
Otto spoke about his experience of being forced to leave his native Austria at the age of ten, travelling to Great Britain as part of the Kindertransport programme. He would never again see his sister or parents who were left behind.
Otto highlighted the difficulty of moving to a distant land where he didn’t speak the language but used the kindness of those who looked after him to encourage the gathered MPs and invited guests to mark the theme of HMD 2016: Don’t stand by.
Sharon met with Martin Stern (pictured), who grew up in the Netherlands under Nazi occupation and survived the camps of both Westerbork and Theresienstadt.
"Otto and Martin’s stories are a reminder of the importance of marking Holocaust Memorial Day – a day where we remember the millions who were affected by the Holocaust and subsequent genocides."
"I want to encourage people in our community to mark HMD on 27 January 2016, so that we are all able to take the time to think about the lessons we can learn from our past so that we can look forward to a future free from the horrors of genocide."
Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said:
"We were delighted that Sharon showed her support for Holocaust Memorial Day."
"We hope that many more people in Washington and Sunderland West will use the free resources available through our website to organise activities for next year’s Holocaust Memorial Day – adding to the record 3,600 activities which took place for HMD 2015."
Don't stand by theme for 2016