Should the world stop talking about the Holocaust?
The answer might be obvious to many, but the BBC wants to open it up to discussion.
As part of its special International Holocaust Remembrance Day programming, the BBC One show The Big Questions held a discussion on the lessons of the Holocaust, and how it is remembered today.
The show, which aired Sunday, featured rabbis, academics, survivors, and educators.
Our one big question this morning: Is the time coming to lay the Holocaust to rest? #BBCTBQ
— The Big Questions (@bbcbigquestions) January 25, 2015
Some Twitter users didn’t take especially kindly to the question.
— Ami Kaufman (@AmiKaufman) January 26, 2015
@bbcbigquestions Is the time coming to sack researcher who came up with such a ridiculous question?!It was the largest genocide of 20century
— Gillian Kennedy, PhD (@GillKenne) January 26, 2015
And clearly, this is *not* a lesson humanity has learned. Genocide and hatred didn't end there. @bbcbigquestions
— 子犬はＣＩＳＳＰを含みません (@wolfniya) January 25, 2015
The provocative question spurred a discussion on whether the Holocaust was a unique event in history, and how best to memorialize such a horrific period.
Some panelists, including historian Tom Lawson, disputed the idea that the Holocaust was a unique event, receiving hearty applause. Rabbi Yaakov Wise countered that the Nazis didn’t just want to physically annihilate the Jews, but sought the “annihilation of Judaism as a religion, as a philosophy, as a civilization.”
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said it would be “obscene” to lay the Holocaust to rest.
The participants in the discussion were Janner-Klausner, senior rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism; Lawson from Northumbria University; Wise from the Center for Jewish Studies at Manchester University; chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Olivia Marks-Woldman; human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell; Holocaust survivor Iby Knill; Dr. Paul Darke from Motion Disabled; journalist Angela Epstein; Prof. Nira Yuval-Davis from the University of East London; Mukesh Kapila, professor of global health and humanitarian affairs at Manchester University; and Rabbi Benjy Rickman from King David and Yavneh High School, Manchester.
The Big Questions, hosted by Nicky Campbell, is the BBC’s weekly religion and ethics program.