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Friday, January 27, 2006

Blair joins Holocaust survivors to remember

TONY BLAIR last night joined survivors of the Holocaust and a host of religious and political dignitaries in Cardiff to mark the 61st anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps.

Hundreds of people who lived through the mass slaughter of during the Second World War attended an evening of commemoration at the Wales Millennium Centre to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The event, which featured readings, poetry, songs and personal testimonies to those who perished in concentration camps, also warned of the ongoing need to address problems of fear and discrimination.

Mr Blair, who arrived at the event with his wife Cherie, spoke of the need to "rededicate ourselves to fighting racism and the intolerance of difference".

"Nothing compares to the Holocaust in the intensity of its evil, not in the suffering of a people made to suffer precisely because they were a people, not in the ghastly scope of its inhuman ambition, and not in the combination of an atrocious cause and wicked actions which for a while threatened to engulf our entire world. Here in Europe, home to so much culture, learning and civilisation.

"It happened in the lifetime of my father. Today it seems unthinkable, and yet today we think of it deliberately, to remember.

"We do so to commemorate the many who died in the Nazi world. We do so to reflect on the violence of genocide, and moreover we do so in order to rededicate ourselves to fighting racism and the intolerance of difference.

"It is in the time of the greatest evil and challenge that humanity shows most starkly the range of its character."

And referring to the "merciless tyranny" of the Holocaust, he added, "We remember that for all its force, it was not strong enough to overcome them, the ones who made the difference. Now, 60 years later, we live in a Europe of peace and prosperity. That is the memorial to the Holocaust victims and their helpers, and that is our commitment, never, at any time, to let it happen again."

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