Graham Evans will host a debate in the Chamber of the House of Commons to commemorate Holocaust Memorial day.
The backbench debate in the chamber of the House to recognise Holocaust Memorial Day, which will mark the 68th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration and death camp.
Many Members of Parliament, including Graham have already signed the Book of Commitment - organised by the Holocaust Memorial Trust - which sets out a commitment to remember and honouring those who died during the Holocaust (see attached photograph).
Graham Evans said: “I am very pleased that my application for a debate in the Main Chamber has been accepted. It’s important to take the time to remember those who lost their lives in the Holocaust, but taking time to reflect on the past is not enough. A debate gives us the chance to look around, at what is going on now nationally and internationally, and the future of our global community.
It would be all too easy to go into a one sided conversation, to pat ourselves on the backs for vociferously condemning the actions in the Weimar Republic in the 30s and 40s. We can all agree that the spectre of anti-Semitism, prejudice and bigotry is morally reprehensible, but there runs the risk of creating an apathetic view of the social factors that lead to Holocaust. These were not decisions made on high by a few, but a calculated move riding on the wave of ill will which swept across Europe at the time, a wave which, lest we forget, also encompassed the United Kingdom.
Anti-Semitism, homophobia and prejudice still exist all across the world. Wherever there is unrest, economic difficulty or social imbalance, it is human nature to search for a group to blame. Only a fool would suggest that those conditions do not exist across the world, in Europe, and even in Great Britain today.
My application for this debate was heard just a week after the deputy leader of the Hungarian party Jobbik, Marton Gyongyosi, called for a list of Jewish Members of Parliament and central Government who presented “a national security risk” to the country. This nationalist party received 17 percent of the vote in the 2010 election, and some polls suggest as much as 21 percent of the population would describe themselves as Jobbik sympathisers.
The Golden Dawn is Europe’s most recently successful far-right party, winning 18 seats in Greece in June 2012. It feeds prejudice using overtly racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic rhetoric, taking advantage of the crippling economic situation and unrest. The conditions there, repaying a huge economic burden using imposed by other European countries, is not dissimilar to that of the Weimar Republic in the 1920s.
In my own constituency no less, just a few weeks ago, a teenager was convicted of sending racially aggravated Twitter messages to a Jewish schoolboy. The individual referred to members of the faith as ‘creatures’ and expressed his support of eugenics. This reflects not just one person’s thoughts, but a cultural change which social media supports, giving an instant platform to uneducated views and malicious misinformation.
Much more can, and will, be said on the need to think of the Holocaust as a modern social issue. This debate give us the chance, as policy makers, to define where, in our world today, we must address and challenge the mindsets which could drag us back into the past.”