Prime Minister, David Cameron, yesterday launched The Holocaust Commission to ensure UK has a fitting memorial to the Holocaust for future generations, official statement from Dowing Street revealed.
The 11 member commission which will be chaired by Mick Davis, a British/South African businessman and the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Leadership Council, include Rt Hon Michael Gove MP; Rt Hon Ed Balls MP; Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP; Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis; Helena Bonham Carter CBE; Dame Helen Hyde DBE; Sir Peter Bazalgette; Natasha Kaplinsky; Leo Noé; and Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE.
According to the statement, the Commission "will investigate whether further measures should be taken to ensure Britain has a permanent and fitting memorial to the Holocaust and educational resources for future generations."
Working alongside and with the commission will be are 2 expert groups to investigate Holocaust education and commemorative events, memorials and museums.
These are an Expert group on education comprising of 6 Members, including Dame Helen Hyde DBE, Professor David Cesarani OBE; The Lord (Daniel) Finkelstein, OBE; Henry Grunwald OBE QC; Maurice Ostro; Dr Simon Sebag Montefiore.
The sub-group will be chaired by Dame Helen Hyde (Headmistress of Watford Grammar School for Girls and a fellow of Holocaust education at the Imperial War Museum. She is a trustee of the Holocaust Educational Trust and had previously been honoured for services to national and Holocaust education in 2013).
And another Expert group on commemoration also comprising of 6 Members, including Sir Peter Bazalgette as Chair; Ben Helfgott MBE; Jack Kagan; Diane Lees; Samir Shah OBE and Dr James Smith CBE.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Survivors have played a vital role in keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive, but we will not always have these remarkable individuals with us. We face a real danger that, as the events of the Holocaust become ever more distant, they feel increasingly remote to current and future generations.“
"This cross-party, national commission representing our whole society will investigate what more needs to be done to ensure Britain has a permanent and fitting memorial and the educational resources needed for generations to come”, he added.
Reacting to the commissioning, Commission Chair Mick Davis said “The Holocaust stands alone as the darkest hour in human history. Our task is to recommend in addition to what is already done in the United Kingdom, the appropriate way for it to be commemorated so that the memory and lessons of the Holocaust remain central and relevant for future generations.“
The Chair of the commission urged everyone to share their views on the issue by responding to the call for evidence.
Member, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (the 11th Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth and a former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, served as Senior Rabbi at Finchley United Synagogue and has held educational and community positions in Israel, Ireland and the UK) said..
“We thank the Prime Minister for his vision and foresight in setting up the Holocaust Commission. This is a unique opportunity to shape commemoration and education of the greatest evil perpetuated by man, ensuring that we in Britain learn the lessons and do our utmost to prevent the reoccurrence of such atrocities against any group anywhere in the world.”
Another commission member, Actress Helena Bonham Carter whose grandfather, Eduardo Propper de Callejon was posthumously recognised for his role in saving hundreds of Jews during the Second World War said..
“I am very honoured to be asked to join this commission and do so in particular memory of those members of my family who died in the Holocaust and as an inherited responsibility to my grandfather who made a significant personal sacrifice to save hundreds of lives.“
"It is our generations’ legacy to create a living memory that will survive the survivors and forever remind future generations of the inhumanity man is capable of committing to its own kind”, she added.
A public call for evidence began yesterday and will run until the end of May 2014 while the commission will report its findings to the Prime Minister by the end of the year.
People across the country are invited to submit their views. A number of regional evidence sessions will also be held to hear from interested parties in person.
The public can make their views known to the commission's ‘Call for evidence’ document and posting your response to: The Holocaust Commission, PO Box 72270, LONDON SW1P 9WU.
To view the official statement on the Holocaust Commission, please click here >>> [HOLOCAUST COMMISSION].
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