Holocaust survivors warn growing extremism in UK could lead to repeat of Nazi Germany

'It is comforting to assume that civilisation is a one-way street, when in fact experience teaches us that it is but a thin veneer, very easily torn away'

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Thursday 03 August 2017 00:33
Comments
Ten designs have been shortlisted for the memorial garden set for completion by 2021
Ten designs have been shortlisted for the memorial garden set for completion by 2021

Holocaust survivors have issued a stark warning that the growing willingness of some "to express extreme views ... and act out their intolerance with violent acts" could lead to Britain becoming the Nazi Germany of tomorrow.

Three survivors of the fascist regime said it was of vital importance that the dangers of division were not forgotten, as they offered their support for a national Holocaust memorial and education centre to be built at Westminster.

Peter Lantos, who was a child when the Nazis killed 22 members of his family, said the memorial would be a “powerful reminder” of what can happen.

“We are the last generation to bear witness. When we die, no one can say ‘I was there’,” he said.

“It’s important for the centre to be more than a record and testimony of the past. It is also a stark and powerful reminder, and warning to a future generation [of] what can happen when xenophobia and intolerance can lead to genocide.”

Joan Salter, 77, said civilisation is not a “one-way street” and can be easily “torn away.”

“[It is] comforting to assume that civilisation is a one-way street, when in fact experience teaches us that it is but a thin veneer, very easily torn away. Germany yesterday could so easily become Britain tomorrow,” she said.

“In recent times, we have seen the splintering of social cohesion, the growing willingness to express extreme views, the ability of some to act out their intolerance with violent acts, the lack of respect for those of different cultures.

"We live in dangerous times.”

Ten designs by world-renowned architects have been shortlisted for the memorial and the winning conception will be chosen by an independent committee in September.

The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation hopes the £50m centre will be open to the public in 2021.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in