LONDON — British Prime Minister David Cameron met with a Holocaust survivor Monday to mark UK Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place Jan. 27.
According to Freda Wineman, a French Jew who survived Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Theresienstadt before emigrating to Britain in 1950, the two discussed “never becoming complacent, because the evils of prejudice, discrimination and intolerance continue to exist in Britain and elsewhere, making the lessons we can learn from the Holocaust relevant to our lives today.”
During the meeting, Cameron also signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, which is placed in the Houses of Parliament each year and records the pledges of members of Parliament to remember the Holocaust and fight other forms of prejudice and hatred.
“We commemorate the lives lost in the Holocaust and think also of those killed more recently in Rwanda, Cambodia, Darfur and Bosnia,” the prime minister wrote. “The tragedy is that so many did suffer from persecution and prejudice, but your work will make sure we never give up this fight and build a better world.”
Holocaust Memorial Day has been marked in the UK since 2000, following the initiative of Andrew Dismore, the MP for Barnet and Camden, a heavily Jewish London constituency, who had visited Auschwitz.
The HET, which was closely involved in developing the idea, each year offers to take two students from each school in England, Scotland and Wales to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau. During the Monday meeting, Cameron met two students from a Church of England school who had taken part in the program.
William Pinder and Hannah Hardman are now Holocaust Educational Trust ambassadors who have committed to teach the lessons of the genocide to their peers. They have already created a hand-print memorial to victims, and made presentations to their school in Wandsworth, South-West London.