MESSAGE FROM MOST REVEREND SEÁN BRADY, ARCHBISHOP OF ARMAGH
FOR HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY – 27 JANUARY 2004
“We need to heed the lessons of the Holocaust and learn for the future”
Tuesday, 27 January, Holocaust Memorial Day, marks the anniversary of the liberation
of the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. One of the purposes of marking
this date is to try and ensure that the horrendous crimes committed during the Holocaust
are never repeated anywhere in the world.
Holocaust Memorial Day gives an opportunity to respectfully remember the six million
Jews who suffered and died in the Holocaust. It also calls us all to see where attitudes
of hatred and bigotry can ultimately lead. We need to heed the lessons of the Holocaust
and learn for the future. We know that these lessons have not been learnt, as the
genocide of 1994 in Rwanda shows. There one million people were murdered within the
space of 100 days.
Racism and bigotry continue to raise their ugly heads, much nearer home, albeit on a
much smaller scale, and in different contexts and circumstances. A truly democratic
and tolerant society, free of the evils of prejudice, racism and other forms of bigotry,
acknowledges and respects, at all times, the dignity of all its citizens, regardless
of race, religion, gender or social condition. Holocaust Memorial Day beckons us all
to work to build such a society. May the God of Abraham, Allah and Jesus Christ, the
God of mercy, justice and love, empower us to contribute to the building of that society.
25 January 2004