04 January 2012

No one left to speak out for me...


First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out 
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out 
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out 
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out 
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

This well-known poem is written by German Pastor Martin Niemoller about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the annihilation of their chosen targets, group after group. Its a clear reminder of the danger of not speaking out against injustice. On January 27th, many nations around the world will commemorate International Holocaust Memorial Day. On this date in 1945, Auschwitz Concentration Camp was liberated and the awful truth about the goings on inside this and similar camps was revealed. 


In Britian, the 2012 national commemoration focuses on the theme 'Speak Up, Speak Out'. History needs to be remembered in order to learn from the mistakes of the past and in so doing, work towards a better future. As we remember the atrocities that took place, the words 'never again' should motivate us to examine how we can make our own world a better place. 
The choices we make in our everyday lives, the words and language we use, the lessons we teach our children, all contribute to creating a safe and fair society. 


'In a world where humans are free to do right and to do wrong there will always be evil actions. If the Holocaust is to teach us anything, it must be the realisation that one has to speak out against evil. Even a limited, uncertain, anguished fight against darkness is better than surrendering to the evils of the past and the present day.' (Rabbi Albert Friedlander)


Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27th is an opportunity to remember history and also to commit to speaking out so that it will never happen again. 


What can you do?  


Take a moment on 27th January to stop and remember. Take a stand to make sure the horrors of the Holocaust are never forgotten.


Organise an event in your community, youth group or church to remember the Holocaust. Check out the UK Holocaust Memorial Website for free resources and information: Holocaust Memorial Day Official Website and 2012 Speak Up Speak Out Campaign

Attend an organised event commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, lists events all around the UK. 
Click your region for a list of events: 

Find out more about the Holocaust and commit to speak out for injustice. Here are some useful links for more information: 
The Holocaust Explained                Wikipedia/Holocaust      

Do something creative with your children to help them learn from the past to work towards building a better future without intolerance, bullying, hatred and injustice. You can find some great ideas on the Speak Up Speak Out Website

Support survivors of the Holocaust who are still living today. Your People My People is supporting organisation in Israel who are working with Holocaust Survivors. These elderly, heroes of history are still suffering mentally and physically from the trauma they suffered in the Holocaust. If you would like to contribute towards helping to make their lives a little bit easier as they live out their final years click the link below:


Watch the official Holocaust Memorial Day (UK) video: "Creating a Safer, Better Future."








To read more about the history of Holocaust Memorial Day click the links below:


International Holocaust Remembrance Day


Holocaust Memorial Day (UK)


Your People My People - Holocaust Remembrance Day Article