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An inclusive Holocaust Memorial Day

Press Release from Scotland Against Criminalising Communities23 January 2007

SACC applauds today's decision by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to allow a number of events organised by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) to be publicised on its website. The events had previously been removed by the Holocaust Day Memorial Trust in a row over SPSC's staging of rehearsed readings of the controversial Holocaust play Perdition during Holocaust Memorial Week.

The SPSC events being promoted on the Holocaust Memorial Day website include round-table discussions in Glasgow and Edinburgh that will consider the Holocaust from viewpoint of the 6 Million Jews who died and also from the viewpoint of its other victims, including the disabled, gays and lesbians, gypsies, communists, socialists, Russians and Poles. The Holocaust Memorial Day website is also publicising public meetings hosted by SPSC in Edinburgh and Glasgow with the US Jewish historian Lenni Brenner. Lenni Brenner will also be speaking at events in England and Ireland.

The events in Scotland are seen as an attempt to give shape to the policy of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, which says that:

"Holocaust Memorial Day is about commemorating all of the communities who suffered as a result of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution, and demonstrating that the Holocaust is relevant to everyone in the UK today. The day provides a focus - through the national and local events and activities - for people to think about the continuing repercussions of the Holocaust and more recent genocides on our society."

This is the second year in which Holocaust Memorial Day has been held as part of an international day designated by the United Nations, although it has been held in Britain since 2001. SACC is pleased that Scotland will be leading the way in making the Day a truly inclusive event that will, in the words of the United Nations, "forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice."

Although the play Perdition will not be publicised on the Holocaust Memorial Day website, rehearsed readings arranged by SPSC will be performed in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust says that the play is anti-semitic. SACC doesn't agree. We believe that the play is one of the most powerful condemnations of racism ever penned, and we will continue to support the readings. We hope that as many people as possible will go to see it.