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Never again: the holocaust and modern fascism

Sunday 27 January 2013 is Holocaust Memorial Day – the anniversary of the day that the Nazis’ concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated in 1945.

In the Holocaust, the Nazis murdered six million Jewish people, along with millions of others who the fascists considered to be “undesirable” or “inferior”, including Roma people, gay men and lesbians, disabled people, Black people, non-Jewish Polish and Russian people, socialists, communists and trade union members. It is important to remember these horrifying crimes against humanity and make a vow to never let this happen again by redoubling our efforts to drive back fascism today.

You can watch the Holocaust Memorial Day 2013 short film ‘Communities together: Build a Bridge’ here. This film powerfully shows the danger fascism poses to our diverse and multicultural society.
There are many Holocaust Memorial Day events taking place over the next few days across the country. A full listing can be found on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website.

Today, in Britain and across Europe, fascist parties are continuing to mobilise and attempting to grow. In some countries they are a serious electoral threat, such as the Front National in France to Hungary’s Jobbik and most noticeably Golden Dawn in Greece. In Britain groups such as the racist and fascist street thugs of the English Defence League have emerged, alongside more established fascist parties like the BNP. We in the student movement have a duty to play our role in driving them back.

Holocaust Memorial Day is an important time to remember the Holocaust and vow to learn the lessons of history and increase our campaigning against racism and fascism today.

I’d like to share the famous poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller, survivor of Nazi concentration camps at Sachsenhausen and Dachau. These words underline the importance of remembering the millions that were killed by the Nazis and why we should all make a commitment to play our full part in ensuring history does not repeat itself.

First they came for the communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a communist
Then they came for the socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Aaron Kiely is black students’ officer at the National Union of Students. Get involved with the NUS Anti-Racism & Anti-Fascism Campaign: Join the NUS Anti-Racism & Anti-Fascism National Conference which is taking place on Wednesday 20 March. Full details, including how to register, will be announced very soon. In the meantime please register your interest by emailing aaron.kiely@nus.org.uk.

One Comment

  1. treborc says:

    Then if you do not wish it to rise again, politicians have to start talking for the people, not the middle class upwards.

    I would say right now Labour has become the party of the squeezed middle class, and that the poorest in society might as well vote Tory as labour these days.

    Miliband would love it for all of us to think that £6.30 an hour makes us all middle class, but a hell of a lot of people are being hit hard who do not have jobs, who do not have benefits, here are the warriors for a far right party who has a leader who speaks for the people.

    Lucky for us all the far right has Griffin and he cannot speak at all.

    If the far right was to rise in Greece the question is of course who’s fault is that.

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