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Holocaust Memorial Day

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20 January 2012
Holocaust Memorial Day Yesterday I contributed to the debate in Westminster Hall to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. You can read my speech here. It was an incredibly moving debate with remarkable contributions – particularly from Labour MP Ian Austin and Conservative MP Bob Stewart. It was an example of the House of Commons at its best.

In my speech, I reflected on my visit to Auschwitz with the Holocaust Educational Trust last year, where I visited two concentration camps. The trip had a deep and lasting impression on me, making me question how these atrocities were allowed to happen and how they can be prevented from happening ever again.

I thanked the HET for asking me to go on the trip, and praised their work in engaging with young people to educate them about preventing the horrors of genocide. The trip allowed me to meet some really inspirational young people from Lewisham, such as Yasemin Mustafa whose moving speech to her assembly at Sedgehill School I quoted in my own speech yesterday.

I also used the debate as an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of Dr Zev Amit who is retiring from his role as Rabbi at Catford and Bromley Synagogue. It has been a privilege to know Dr Amit whose work on educating young people will leave a lasting legacy on the people of Lewisham.

If the debate served to do anything, it should be to remind us that we must always confront and challenge racism, prejudice and discrimination whenever we see them in our society. It was a priviledge to be part of it and really good to participate in a debate that rose above party political knock-about and point-scoring.

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