We must never forget the horror inflicted upon Europe’s Jews

Please send your letters to letters@independent.co.uk

Sunday 27 January 2019 18:31
Comments
Visitors walk past a memorial at the former Nazi concentration camp in Terezin, Czech Republic
Visitors walk past a memorial at the former Nazi concentration camp in Terezin, Czech Republic

Six per cent of UK citizens believe the Nazi holocaust is fake news, that the thousands of survivors of the Nazi death camps and the witnesses (including personal accounts of hundreds of British, American, Russian and German soldiers, Jewish Sonderkommandos and Waffen-SS, including Rudolf Höss, the man responsible for the administration of Auschwitz/Berkenau who admitted everything in his memoirs) are all liars, and, against literally a mountain of incontrovertible physical, audio/visual, personal and bureaucratic evidence listing the number, race, ethnicity and actual names of the murdered, that the Holocaust never happened. Even in the face of more recent proven bigoted genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia and Cambodia, and political genocide in China, do they refuse to accept the truth.

It’s even worse than that though. The conservative estimate for the total number of non-combatant human beings murdered for political reasons in Europe from 1933-45 is 17 million. By far the largest group were the Jews of Europe who were hunted down and persecuted and murdered (even from the British Channel Islands they were deported to their deaths), but when this number of humans is involved we are all part of this terrible event. In denying through bigotry the truth of the Jewish “Shoa”, they deny the broader definition of what took place, that their relatives probably died in it, and so they deny their responsibility to discover and admit the truth and mourn their own dead.

We all share in the terror and shame because everyone is related to everyone as geneticists have proven, and it seems to me impossible that somewhere up my family tree there isn’t a green shoot that was murdered and cremated, or indeed a murderer.

That’s why, on this Holocaust Memorial Day, I proclaim the truth of the terror and mourn with the descendants of the 6 million murdered Jews and 11 million murdered others; I am their brother.

Peter Hoare
Ampthill

When does ‘muscular liberalism’ become Islamophobia?

While giving evidence to the Public Accounts Committee earlier this week, the Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman defended her assertion that schools should enforce a “muscular liberalism” to prevent religious groups from influencing the national curriculum. Her defence of this rather heavy worded stance brought to mind the prodigious words of Thomas Paine, who once said, “The greatest tyrannies are often perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes.” Ms Spielman in 2017 sanctioned a controversial policy whereby state officials inspecting schools could question young schoolgirls about their choice to wear a garment that enabled them to look more like their mothers.

Ironically, this approach that claims to protect schoolgirls from the pressures of wearing a hijab inverts the secular mandate on which it is based on its head by effectively allowing the state to act like the moral police. Moreover, the policy is discriminatory in so far as it specifically targets the hijab as a religious symbol, without including others such as the Sikh turban within its scope.

Even if other religious symbols were to be included (and Ms Spielman condemns Jewish schools that demand religious considerations should trump the Equality Act), the question is why Ofsted would choose to interrogate young schoolgirls about a choice to wear an otherwise innocuous head covering but not be concerned about certain schools requiring young girls to wear pencil skirts to school – widely deemed as uncomfortable and impractical by children. If the pursuit of secular values is really at the heart here, paradoxically Ms Spielman’s approach poses the greatest threat to the same.

Ayesha Malik
Grayshott

Hands off Venezuela

The UK’s pipsqueak foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced that unless the Venezuelan government announces new elections within eight days the UK government will recognise pretender Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president.

The Tories combine empty imperial delusions with hypocrisy.

Only three weeks ago Theresa May’s Brexit deal was voted down by 230 votes – the largest defeat for a sitting government in history. If she had a shred of decency or honour such a crushing defeat should have led to her resignation and a general election.

Instead Theresa May clings to office with the help of 10 DUP MPs whose support she bought with £1bn of taxpayers’ money following her humiliation in the 2017 general election.

The Tories who are so keen on an election in Venezuela yet daren’t call one in the UK because they know they would be crushed at the polls.

Hands off Venezuela Tory hypocrites!

Sasha Simic
London, N16

What will the Salmond case mean for a second Indy Ref?

Commentators are fixated on the question of whether the charges against Alex Salmond will damage the SNP’s plans for another referendum. Yet Salmond is yesterday’s man, a sideshow, however much he continues to be revered by some in the SNP.

What would really affect the prospects for another referendum is the tangle that Nicola Sturgeon is now in, with investigations into her own and her government’s conduct relating to the Salmond case. It is impossible to conceive of a referendum being planned and fought at a time when these investigations are in play. Who knows what revelations there may be?

It is not in the interests of Scots for there to be another referendum, but at present it certainly is not in the interests of the SNP, either.

Jill Stephenson
Edinburgh

The ruling class have blown it

The rolling calamity of Brexit’s impasse despite prime minister Theresa May’s bumbling and dismaying effort at resolution attests to The Economist’s recent lament that Britain “is governed by a self-involved clique (the Oxford chums) that rewards group membership above competence and self-confidence above expertise.”

David Cameron arrogantly gambled the UK’s future on a referendum that he lost and the opportunistic Boris Johnson leaped onto the Brexit bandwagon to enhance his prime ministerial ambition. The malign incompetence of the Brexit negotiators, as the chaos of a no-deal Brexit looms with ordinary British people at risk of serious harm inflicted by Britain’s bumbling chumocrats, has even incited the Queen to plea for seeking “common ground” in the midst of fiery acrimony.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

It’s at these uncertain times, when the Queen weighs in on irresolute affairs of global importance, that make me more considerate of Australia’s constitutional monarchy. QE2 could yet prove balm to Britain’s wound of rupture with the European Union, the epitomy of moral dereliction of egotistical and destructive behaviour exacted by the UK ruling elite.

Joseph Ting
Brisbane

The Leave campaign doesn’t respect democracy

Theresa May is not well placed to be pontificating about democracy. She leads a minority government that is (normally) propped up by a Northern Ireland party that does not reflect the Remain majority vote there; she originally tried to force Brexit through with no reference to parliament and has treated it with contempt throughout.

We should also keep recalling Mr Farage’s earlier 48:52 “unfinished business” remark, which strongly suggests that for most Brexiteers opposition to a second vote is not based on principle but on the simple fear that, with what we now know, the “People’s will” might have changed and they will lose.

The truth is that for many a parliamentary vote for a second referendum would actually restore faith in our democracy. Those who refer to the “consequences” of this are offering disgraceful incitement to the radical right to whom democracy only matters as long as they win.

Adrian Cosker
Hitchin

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.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ 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.

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.

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

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 inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in