Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Ditch Holocaust day, advisers urge Blair - Sunday Times

This is an awkward issue. Of course we should remember the Jewish victims of the Holocaust - but we should also remember the gypsies, the gays, the Communists and other political prisoners, the mentally ill, the people with learning disabilities, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and (allegedly) the Pagans who were killed in the Holocaust.

And we should remember all the people who died in Rwanda, and Cambodia, and Serbia, the desaparecidos in South America, the victims of Stalin, the dead of the Cultural Revolution and Tibet, and so on. And the millions of Germans in Eastern Europe who were massacred after World War Two.

So maybe it would be better to change the name of the day to Genocide Day - or alternatively add another day immediately after Holocaust Day to remember other victims of genocide. And make sure that the other victims of the Holocaust are also remembered on Holocaust Day. Let's not forget that the gypsies in the extermination camps were completely wiped out in 1942.

My initial response to the Sunday Times article was that this was political correctness gone mad - but then I remembered that some Jewish Holocaust remembrance marches exclude gays from participating, and I began to feel differently.


Yvonne said...

In 1989 I wrote a poem about this.


Imagine a memorial
to all those who died at others' hands
because they were misunderstood:
it would take a million years
to build; another million
to inscribe the names on it.
It would blot out the sky.
It would dislodge the Earth
from its orbit.
It would bankrupt every major government
- and we would have peace in the world.

Yvonne Aburrow, 11-6-89

(The only thing I would change in the poem now is the word misunderstood - it should have been something encompassing all the bizarre reasons people kill other people, like projecting their own evil onto them. But I like the idea of the monument bankrupting all the governments. It often seems to be governments and borders that cause all these problems.)

Yvonne said...

See also BBC website section on Holocaust Memorial Day