By Tomáš Tengely-Evans
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Anti fascists meet to say, ‘Never again!’ on Holocaust Memorial Day

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Issue 2589
Matthew Callow at the Oxford exhibition to mark Holocaust Memorial day
Matthew Callow at the Oxford exhibition to mark Holocaust Memorial day (Pic: Julie Simmons)

Anti-racists have been holding meetings around Holocaust Memorial Day on Saturday 27 January. They have been organised by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

On Holocaust Memorial Day, we’ll say—“Never Again”. The Nazis murdered six million Jews between 1941 and 1945—a third of Europe’s Jewish population. A further five million including disabled people, Romani people, LGBT+ people and political opponents perished at the hands of the regime.

Over 40 people joined the Holocaust Memorial Day meeting in Bristol.

Sophia Beach, a socialist student at the University of Bristol, talked about the UAF educational trip to Auschwitz death camp last November. Other speakers included David Weltman, whose parents were Jewish partisan fighters.

On the same night 60 people joined a Holocaust Memorial meeting in Liverpool, organised by Merseyside UAF.

Speakers included Unison union general secretary Dave Prentis, FBU firefighters’ union north west regional secretary Mark Rowe and Liverpool deputy mayor Ann O’Byrne. Labour councillor Emily Spurrell read an extract from a Holocaust survivor’s testimony.

And SUTR held a similar meeting in Islington in north London on the same night.

Around 50 people also came to the Holocaust Memorial meeting in Hackney in east London on Tuesday night.

Dave Prentis of Unison was among those who took part in Liverpool
Dave Prentis of Unison was among those who took part in Liverpool

Speakers included Rabbi Herschel Gluck, and David Rosenberg from the Jewish Socialist Group. And Labour councillor Soraya Adejare, the speaker of Hackney, said the council was committed to fighting racism and antisemitism.

In Oxford the local SUTR group organised a week-long exhibition around the Holocaust. Over 70 people came on the first day of the exhibition, which incorporated short talks from Jewish, Muslim, Roma, LGBT+ and disabled people and women.

Trade unionists, the local Labour MP and councillors also spoke.

Matthew Callow is the Unite union health branch chair in Oxfordshire. “The ‘Never Again’ exhibition has been a powerful reminder of the human potential for barbarity,” he told Socialist Worker. “But also the capacity for confronting evil in a spirit of solidarity.”

Around 50 people also attended a Holocaust Memorial Meeting in Cambridge. It was jointly organised by Cambridge UAF and the local NEU education union (NUT section).

They watched a video of Holocaust survivors Leon Greenman and Esther Brunstein describing some of the horrors they witnessed in the concentration camps.

Local teacher Richard Rose described his visit to Auschwitz and the Krakow Ghetto on a UAF educational trip. He explained how the Nazis were able to grow and seize power, and described some of the heroic acts of resistance to them.

And in Stockport, SUTR organised a public commemoration of the Holocaust in the town centre.

Bethan Turner a young SUTR activist from Manchester described the terrible scenes she had witnessed as part of the recent UAF tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Julie Ward, Labour MEP, delivered a stirring speech calling for redoubled activity against the growth of racist and fascist forces at a local, national and international level.

Activists are now building for SUTR rallies in the run-up to national demonstrations against racism on 17 March in London, Glasgow and Cardiff. Matthew said, “We should do our utmost to come together for the March Against Racism on 17 March.”

Go to Facebook event Stand Up To Racism Trade Union conference and Students Against Racism national conference co-hosted by Student SUTR and Mend.

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