Each country will feel different and have a different national context this week for commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz 70 years ago tomorrow, and Holocaust Memorial Day more generally.
I imagine that in France and Belgium where I have lived, the national narrative about Jewish people and the Holocaust will be quite different, and possibly quite a bit more difficult, than here in the UK because of the very different national context for Jewish people. Here in the UK teaching the Holocaust is embedded in the national curriculum, statements of commitment to Holocaust education have come from our national leaders, and a national charity (the HMD Trust, www.hmd.org.uk) annually provides civic, school and faith organisations with resources with which to organise commemorations.
France have the Fondation Pour La Memoire de la Shoah and the national commemoration tomorrow will be addressed by President Francois Hollande at 9 am. At 6 pm, members of the Association of Auschwitz Survivors will light a memorial flame under the Arc de Triomphe.
“Nous sommes avec vous de tout coeur,” say we in Bristol to them in France.
— Fondation Shoah (@Fondation_Shoah) January 26, 2015