Holocaust Memorial Day Belfast

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is promoting everyone to mark the occasion today with local activities as well as individual acts, such as signing a pledge.

For me, a particular significance is remembering that Nazism was about state-sponsored, systematic discrimination against entire categories of people — whether Jewish, Polish, gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled, or anyone who over fraternised (contaminated themselves) with any so-labelled degenerate:

A chart of prisoner markings used in German concentration camps. The vertical categories list markings for the following types of prisoners: political, professional criminal, emigrant, Bible Students (as Jehovah's Witnesses were then known as), homosexual, Germans shy of work, and other nationalities shy of work. The horizontal categories begin with the basic colours, and then show those for repeat offenders, prisoners in Strafkompanie, Jews, Jews who have violated racial laws by having sexual relations with Aryans, and Aryans who violated racial laws by having sexual relations with Jews. In the lower left corner, P is for Poles and T for Czechs (German: Tscheche). The remaining symbols give examples of marking patterns.

Let’s not forget that anyone who opposed the regime politically were also targeted.

For example, shortly after a suspicious fire in the Reichstag on 27 February 1933, Hitler requested the parliament to grant him absolute powers. Nearly all the members of the parliament did, but a few dozen did not. They were ultimately arrested and sent to concentration camps to die. These stones near the entrance of the Reichstag is a memorial to those parliamentarians (and I took this photo on a visit in 2007):

In the following video, the Holocaust Memorial Trust highlights its work and activites that have taken place in local communities. Belfast features at 7:40:

YouTube video

Belfast is hosting some activities today, which includes the screening of an HMD film at the Mid-Antrim Museum, running until 4th February.

Wish I’d had an earlier heads-up of these events, which I wish every success.

PS. Glad to see an official recognition of the day by First Minister Peter Robinson MLA and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA at OFMDFM.

Original posting: http://mrulster.org/holocaust-memorial-day-belfast

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