72 years ago today the largest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated.
But a Jewish leader said the ‘awful lessons’ of the Holocaust are being forgotten.
Dr Moshe Kantor, head of the European Jewish Congress, told Huffington Post UK that we are once again living in an era of ‘nationalism, xenophobia and strident anti-Semitism’.
He said: ‘A common question that’s asked about the Holocaust is how ordinary people were driven to commit atrocities?’
‘We know that they were not threatened with death for not following orders, so why did they did it? Why did they turn in their neighbours to the Nazis, and end up working – as train drivers, guards, secretaries – within Hitler’s killing machine?
‘Only a small minority supported Hitler’s plan to kill all European Jews through mass extermination, a plan that was widely circulated years before.
‘But he was able to act because an undercurrent of hatred had seeped into everyday life.’
Kantor said we cannot rule out that some neo-Nazi groups could gain ‘significant power’ in parts of Europe.
He even used the rise in hate crime following the Brexit vote as an example.
To combat this worrying trend, the Jewish leader said that education is the key.
‘It’s crucial that we develop special programmes, from kindergarten and reception all the way through to university to educate people on the dangers of religious hatred, xenophobia and anti-Semitism, he added.Monday, January 30, 2017