by Frankie Simons

On this Holocaust Memorial Day, we mark 73 years since the end of the Holocaust.  

In that time, we have seen subsequent genocides around the world, such as those in Cambodia, Bosnia, Armenia, Rwanda and Darfur. It is therefore obvious that society did not truly act upon ‘Never Again’.  

This in itself should be a moral outrage.  

 This failure reinforces the urgent need for days such as Holocaust Memorial Day where we remember the 6 million Jews who were murdered, the 5 million people of other origin who were persecuted by the Nazis, and the millions of victims of other genocides that have occurred. 

As well as nationally recognising a day to remember the victims of these genocides, UK campuses also have a large role to play. From campaigning for fossil fuel divestment to being at the forefront of anti-fascist organising, campuses all across the UK have a duty to not only be political but also to remember those who have perished at the hands of their fellow man.  

Universities pride themselves on their push back against the scourge of the far-right, being instrumental in the proscription of National Action and this work was only done with all student groups coming together. We only have to look at the discourse around no-platforming to see the impact that campus discourse can have on our wider society and institutions. Let’s use this impact for the greatest benefit and lead the way in commemorating the Holocaust and other genocides with unity and diversity.  

This is my message for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day.  

What can students do?

The Union of Jewish Students campaign is titled Our Living Memory. Many JSocs will be holding events, whether that be hosting a Holocaust survivor or advertising university talks from academics. These events are definitely not just for Jewish students on campus, so please do attend and advertise these events around campus and to the members of your Labour Clubs.  
Regardless of whether you have had contact with your JSoc before we should all reach outas the duty to carry forward the message of “Never Again” is on all of us, not just any one group.  

Unfortunately, many Holocaust survivors are no longer with us, so take this opportunity to hear first hand from a Holocaust survivor if you get the chance. If your JSoc is not hosting any event, Labour Clubs and Students Unions should host an event of their own. These genocides were caused by divisions, so  everyone from all religious, ethnic, or other denominations should come together on this day 

 Remember the Holocaust, all of its victims and subsequent genocides. 

It’s everyone’s duty to fight back against far-right divisions, all over the world, anti-fascist work must be truly cross communal. Push for a united front, all across campus and reject anti-semitism wherever we find it 

If unity starts on campus, it can spread. 

 

If you are unsure of who to contact for JSoc at your university, please email Kathryn Rose (kathrynr@ujs.org.uk) or Sam Gold (samg@ujs.org.uk) 

If you would like to host an event as part of the Our Living Memory campaign see the UJS website: http://www.ujs.org.uk/holocaust_memorial_day_2018  


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