During Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations, members of London Jewish community said historical education is key to tackle the ongoing rise of anti-semitism in the UK.
Hosts, guest speakers and those who attended the event in Barnet on 28 January said more education on the horrors of the Holocaust must be provided to children and adults to address the current increase of anti-semitic threats across the country.
This came as the number of Holocaust-related anti-semitic incidents recorded by the Community Security Trust(CST), a charity that protects the British Jewish community from anti-semitism, increased by 104% across the UK in 2023, from 469 in 2022 to 955 in 2023, figures obtained by Sky News show.
Holocaust Educational Trust chairman Craig Leviton, who spoke at the event, said: “Education can and does play an absolutely central role in trying to ensure that we learn the lessons from the past.
“Holocaust Memorial Day is the opportunity to educate people more on the Holocaust and to remember the hatred that took place almost 80 years ago now.
“This commemoration is important to remind us of the horrors of the past, to ensure that we are educating young people to make sure this never happens again and to address antisemitism and Jewish hatred in society.”
Leviton said he was not unduly concerned about security at the event but that the rise in anti-semitism in the UK is definitely on the mind of Jewish people at the moment.
Mary Cahn, who attended Barnet Council’s Holocaust Memorial Day and who works in a cafe in High Barnet, an area known for its large Jewish community, said: “We’ve definitely witnessed a rise in anti-Jew and anti-semitic violence around here.
“There have been more incidents than previously since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas and I know some people are really concerned.
“Education is clearly something that can play a role in remembering what’s happened and things like commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day is a good occasion to educate people even more on this topic and to address hatred.”
One of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s earliest achievement was to ensure that the Holocaust was taught as part of the National Curriculum for History, which it still is.