Letter: Praising Judge Robert Rinder for Holocaust education work
- Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Raising awareness of the Holocaust is essential
Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington, writes:
I have just been reading the article in the Islington Gazette about Judge Rinder being awarded the MBE for work on the Holocaust education and awareness.
I also saw the programmes that he made when he visited the camps where fortunately his grandfather survived the horrors of such places. I served in the British Army for six years form 1974 to 1980. During part of that time, I was stationed with the 17/21st Lancers in REME LAD as a gunfighter on the chieftain tanks which they were equipped with.
We were stationed in BFPO38 Fallingbostel, half way between Hannover and Hamberg, adjacent to the Hohner training area within that area, approximatey 12 miles from us was Bergen Belsen. Several of the Lancers had visited the site and told me that both animals and birds would not cross that ground, it was as if they could sense that something very horrible had happened there.
I found it very moving watching the programmes in which Judge Rinder, his mother and several other Jewish people visited these places. I believe that it was said at the end of the Nuremberg trials that genocide on this scale must never happen again, but do we learn? Apparently not, sadly!
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Although not being of the Jewish faith being christened into the Church of England, I would like to say well done Robert Rinder for those programmes and also for your work in raising awareness of what happened in those places. Hopefully your efforts to educate people about these things will help to stop such things happening again.
Even today we still have people who are in denial about such horrible things happening, as he says quite rightly, we must not become complacent and also I feel that this is a part of history that we must never forget as so many people perished in the name of some twisted ideology brought about by a so-called civilised people, thank God that people did manage to survive these places and also to help to bring the perpetrators to justice.
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Having said that, it is important to know that of all things the concentration camp was a British idea I believe which sprang up during the Boer wars in South Africa although I hope and pray that we did not do the horrible things that the Nazis did to people who they did not think were worthy of living in an attempt to build a so-called ‘master race’.
Thanks for helping people be aware of what happened, not only to you families but also to other people who fell foul of these horrors, too many people died in these places, so yes, let us remember them each and every Holocaust day in the hope that it will eventually bring people to their senses and stop such things happening again.
Ok, we may not like what people say or do, but we do have a right to be heard and yes, let us at least agree to disagree. The reason I say this is freedom of thought and speech is vital, for instance, we have people saying we should rename streets or tear down statues of people who made money out of the slave trade for instance, I feel that we should keep these statues in place and keep them as a reminder of what evil things happened and hopefully learn from them and make the world a better place for all of us.