I was glad to have the opportunity of attending the Holocaust Memorial Day event in Stirling this evening. You need to be reminded and, as one of the speakers said, you need to learn the lessons.
I thought about our visit to Auschwitz a couple of years ago. I found that very difficult – the very enormity of it made any response seem inadequate. In the end it was the railway lines which were most evocative for me. I sat down on them and had a think.
This evening carried our thinking further down the lines – to the experience of the Roma people, the survivors of the Rwandan genocide and the killing fields of Cambodia.
If I was to draw the thinnest and most tentative dotted line back to things in my own experience – it would be to remember how respectably easy it is for patterns of speech to grow which dehumanise the ‘other’. Holocaust is of course the extreme end of that spectrum – but it’s present in the ‘we all know what we mean so we don’t have to say it’ discourse at the respectable end of sectarianism.
Thanks to everybody who organised this evening’s event.