Tuesday, 27 January 2009

LONDON GREEN MEP COMMEMORATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY

NEWS RELEASE

>From the Office of Jean Lambert MEP

London's Green Member of the European Parliament

Immediate Release: 23 January 2008

Holocaust Memorial Day: Euro MP pays tribute to victims of persecution

London Green MEP, Jean Lambert, will take part in a ceremony at City Hall
tomorrow to remember the victims of the Holocaust and more recent genocides.
Many key London figures are expected to attend the ceremony, which will
begin at 11.50am on Thursday 24 January in the Chamber of the GLA building
on The Queen's Walk.



The event will take place ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January, the
date marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration
camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. The theme for this year is 'Imagine.remember
reflect react' and hundreds of events will be taking place across the UK.
The aim of the day is to ensure that the horrendous crimes committed during
the Holocaust and more recent genocides are neither forgotten nor repeated.



Jean Lambert MEP, who is a member of the civil liberties and human rights
committees in the European Parliament, said:



"Over six million Jews were murdered during the Second World War by the Nazi
regime and many more people were persecuted because of their skin colour,
disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious belief or political
affiliation. The key lesson we must remember from the Holocaust is that we
must never again stand by and let hatred take root.



"The atrocities that took place made us reassess and value our fundamental
human rights, such as the right to life and freedom, and we must continue to
uphold them.



"Regrettably, people continue to face prejudice and sometimes persecution,
even in our diverse and progressive city. A recent survey found that a
quarter of people think London is not tolerant of gay and lesbian people and
a third do not believe there are good relations between racial and ethnic
groups. Violence can manifest itself where misconceptions and bigotry exist
so it is vital that we continue to fight for social cohesion and equal
rights for all."



"Racism, ethnic division and intolerance have fuelled violence and genocide
in countries like Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda. We should take this time to
remember the survivors of all such tragedies and those who go on suffering
around the world, particularly in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of
Congo."





ENDS



For more information please contact:

Georgina Bloomfield, Media Officer

Tel: 020 7407 6280

Email: media@jeanlambertmep.org.uk

www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk





Note to Editors



Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human
Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European
Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections and was re-elected in
2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green
representatives in the European Parliament.



Background notes on the Holocaust from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust
http://www.hmd.org.uk/



Nazi Germany murdered six million Jews in a systematic, state-sponsored
campaign of persecution and extermination now known as the Holocaust. It
persecuted, incarcerated and murdered millions of its own citizens, and
those of the countries it invaded, on the basis of skin colour; disability;
sexual orientation; ethnicity; religious belief or political affiliation.



In 1933, when the Nazis came to power in Germany, the Jewish population of
Europe stood at over nine million. The Nazi campaign to exclude and
persecute Jews, and others, as "life unworthy of life" began. By war's end,
close to two out of every three Jews in Europe had been murdered in the
Holocaust.



During the war years (1939-45), the Nazis created ghettos to isolate Jews
and established concentration camps to imprison all people targeted on
ethnic, racial or political grounds. Between 1942 and 1944 Nazi Germany
deported millions of people from the territories it occupied to
extermination camps to be murdered in gas chambers. At the largest killing
centre, Auschwitz-Birkenau, transports of Jews arrived almost daily from
across Europe.



Although Jews were the primary victims of Nazi racism, others targeted for
death included tens of thousands of Roma (Gypsies) and at least 200,000
mentally or physically disabled people (source:www.ushmm.org). As Nazi
tyranny spread across Europe, millions of people were persecuted and
murdered. More than three million Soviet prisoners of war were murdered or
died of starvation, disease or maltreatment. The Nazis killed tens of
thousands of Polish intellectual and religious leaders; deported millions of
Polish and persecuted and incarcerated homosexuals.



Millions of lives were lost, or changed, often beyond redemption. The
consequences of this loss and persecution are felt today by Holocaust and
genocide survivors, their children and grand-children, in the UK and around
the world.

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