Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart yesterday remembered the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust and warned that the lessons of history cannot be forgotten.
Ms McTaggart was speaking in a debate at the Scottish Parliament on Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January), which marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwtiz-Birkenau concentration camp. The theme of this year’s Memorial Day is ‘Keep the Memory Alive’, with it being perhaps the last significant anniversary that will be marked with the holocaust in living memory.
Ms McTaggart spoke of the significance of the anniversary in her own region Glasgow, home to a large Jewish community, and warned that racism and bigotry must be fought in all its forms across Scotland. She also identified the emergence of fascist parties across Europe in recent years as a warning that the lessons of history must be learnt, and signed the Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment.
Speaking during the debate Ms McTaggart said:
“Today is a day for everyone to pause and remember the 6 million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered by the Nazi regime in occupied Europe. We need to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own; it is a steady process that can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked, tackled and prevented.
“We have come a long way since the liberation of Auschwitz 70 years ago. We would think that, after the revelation of such dreadful crimes, those who voiced the same views as the Nazis could never gain any votes or any credibility again, but sadly the spectre of fascism haunts Europe once more.
“People with fascist views are being elected in parts of Europe and, after recent events in Germany and France, more than ever across Europe we must learn the lessons of history. All those who believe in freedom and democracy and who oppose racism and fascism must stand together united in order to ensure that the horrors of Auschwitz never happen again.”
You can read Ms McTaggart’s speech here.