Holocaust Memorial Day

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:55 pm on 26th January 2023.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid Conservative, Bromsgrove 4:55 pm, 26th January 2023

I thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for your powerful words. I also thank my hon. Friend the Minister for her words on behalf of the Government about their continued strong commitment to fighting prejudice of all kinds, and especially for confirming to the House the desire to bring forward a holocaust memorial Bill as soon as possible. I thank Alex Norris for his contribution. He showed, once again, that the whole House is united on the importance of what we have discussed today—of remembering the holocaust and subsequent genocides, and of learning from them.

I thank all right hon. and hon. Members from every party and both sides of the House who have contributed today; we have truly shown the House at its best, with everyone united in calling for an even stronger fight against prejudice and hatred. In particular, I congratulate Andrew Western on his excellent maiden speech, which was one of the best that I have heard. It was delivered with real confidence and he spoke eloquently about his desire to fight hatred and prejudice. I wish him all the very best in the House.

Clearly reflected in all hon. Members’ contributions was the theme set by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust: the role of ordinary people in the holocaust and subsequent genocides. The 6 million people murdered in the holocaust and the millions murdered in subsequent genocides were ordinary people, but many of the people who facilitated and perpetrated those murders were also ordinary people who were somehow corrupted. We were reminded by hon. Members that that could happen again if we do not do everything we can to fight it.

Many hon. Members also rightly referred to the extraordinary people—the survivors—many of whom are thankfully still in our midst. As was said, however, with the passing of each survivor, we can see that the responsibility on all of us in this House grows. Having listened to this excellent debate, however, I am very hopeful for the future.