Holocaust Memorial Day: Ignorance is no longer an excuse 2nd February 2012


Photograph by Tim Turner

Ben Balla-Muir, Deputy Member of UK Youth Parliament for Horsham and Mid Sussex, has produced a blog as part of “Speak Up Speak Out”, remembering Holocaust Memorial Day last week.

Marking the liberation date of Auschwitz-Berkenau, Ben wrote the blog to reflect and share his experiences of visiting the infamous factory of death as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ programme; not simply to remember what happened but for lessons to be learnt from the atrocities of the past:

“From just seeing the conditions of Auschwitz, where human beings were treated like animals in the wooden barracks of Berkenau, I plead that it be recognised how dangerous prejudice is. Ignorance is no longer an excuse and it is no longer acceptable to blame innocent minorities. I feel exceptionally lucky that I am alive now, so will not let the efforts of my grandparents’ fight against such hate be in vain; we must learn from the past and pledge together to combat prejudice as a society.”

This also follows on from the inspirational talk given by Iby Knill at UKYP’s Annual Sitting 2011. In 1942 Iby was imprisoned as an illegal immigrant and eventually taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau and then as slave labour to an armament factory in Lippstadt. Liberated by American forces, she came to England in 1947. Having kept silent about her past for decades, over the past ten years Iby has told her story and spoken out about the Holocaust and lessons that must be learnt.


Read Ben’s moving and thought-provoking blog now: