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Lessons of the Holocaust still relevant today - Junior Minster Kelly

24 January, 2008

It is vital that young people do not forget the Holocaust and the suffering of its victims and survivors, Sinn Féin Junior Minister Gerry Kelly has said.

"The lessons it teaches us are as relevant today as they were 60 years ago and even now when we are living in peace, we must guard against the evils of prejudice and discrimination.

"Within the increasingly diverse society here we are have found that ethnic minorities and migrant workers have become targets for prejudice.

"Holocaust Memorial Day challenges us to remember the horrors of the past, to reflect on our own attitudes to those who differ from us and to react positively to create a better future for ourselves and our children in a society where differences are respected."

The Junior Minister was speaking at the Regional Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration held in Parliament Buildings, tonight Thursday, in front of an audience including members of the local Jewish Community as well as representatives from local ethnic minority and other groups.

The theme for the commemoration this year is "Imagine - remember, reflect, react"

Minister Kelly also announced that the Holocaust Educational Trust's "Lessons from Auschwitz" project would be extended here for the first time in 2008. The project will enable young people to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau in order to explore the universal lessons of the Holocaust and its relevance for today.

The Holocaust Memorial Day was initiated seven years ago to ensure that the crimes committed against humanity during the Holocaust are never forgotten, particularly by younger generations.

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