Prime Minister launches National Holocaust Commission to Mark 25 years of Holocaust Educational Trust

Prime Minister launches National Holocaust Commission to Mark 25 years of Holocaust Educational Trust

The Prime Minister announced the launch of a multi-faith, cross-party, national commission to ensure Britain has a permanent Holocaust memorial and educational resources, when he addressed more than 500 guests and dignitaries gathered at the Holocaust Educational Trust’s (HET) Appeal Dinner on Monday 16th September.


The Prime Minister and Holocaust survivors

The commission will include senior figures from the Jewish Community, while the Holocaust Educational Trust will work as the key delivery partner. The Prime Minister announced that he will personally chair the first meeting later this year. The commission will then report back to the Prime Minister ahead of the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Bergen Belsen in 2015.

During the course of the evening, which was hosted by BBC Radio 4 World at One presenter Martha Kearney, the Prime Minster also paid tribute to the Holocaust Educational Trust’s work since it was set up twenty-five years ago. He delivered a moving tribute to the Holocaust survivors in the room, and emphasised the importance of Holocaust education in Britain today. The Prime Minister also announced that the government will increase its support for HET’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project, giving an additional £300,000 of funding every year and committed to visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2014.

Ahead of his address, he personally met with Holocaust survivors Gena Turgel MBE, Martin Bennett, Josef Perl and Freda Wineman. Other prominent guests at the dinner included Chief Rabbi Mirvis, the newly appointed American Ambassador to the UK, HE Matthew W. Barzun, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, as well as a host of other Parliamentarians, Diplomats and communal leaders.

Addressing the guests, the Prime Minister said: “At a time when antisemitism is returning in some parts of mainland Europe, it is more important than ever that – as a whole country - we do everything possible to make sure that the memory of the Holocaust is preserved from generation to generation. The Holocaust Educational Trust are leading the way, and it is vital that they are supported.”

Karen Pollock MBE Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust added, “We welcome the lead that the Prime Minister has taken in safeguarding the memory of the Holocaust for decades to come. We are delighted to be the key partners in the delivery of this landmark initiative.”

Watch our 2013 Appeal Film.

Watch the Prime Minister's speech or read a transcript.