“History helps us to understand the world that we live in.”
It is now over 75 years since the liberation of the Nazi extermination camps which saw the genocide of 6 million Jewish people, as well as many Romany Gypsy, LGBT, disabled people, political enemies of the Nazis and trade unionists.
The passage of time and sometimes wilful memory lapse have meant that knowledge about the Holocaust is in danger of being lost. The Independent wrote in 2019 about how far-right activity and Holocaust denial is growing on UK University campuses, with experts suggesting this will get worse as there are fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors still alive to tell their stories first-hand.
Today, the concerning rise of the far-right is a disturbing reminder of why Holocaust education remains crucially important. During the recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations, we saw far-right violence erupt across the UK, including in the city of Glasgow when a demonstration in support of refugees and asylum seekers was attacked by far-right extremists who were also demonstrating under the guise of ‘defending’ statues in George Square. It takes little to reignite the flames of racism and fascism.
For Holocaust Memorial Day 2021, Jacqueline Fitzpatrick, ESOL Lecturer at Glasgow Kelvin College, shares her thoughts about the background to Holocaust Education, and the relevance of learning about the Holocaust, today.
Holocaust Education: Introduction
Holocaust Education: Approach
Holocaust Education: Importance