Holocaust Survivors Issue Stark Warning Over Dangers Of Fascism In UK
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.