Post in Note From Ruth-Anne Lenga Programme Director
UKHMF Inquiry – Our Centre’s support
This week saw the Centre’s Executive Director, Prof Stuart Foster, joined the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, and former PM Rt Hon Gordon Brown gain giving evidence at a public inquiry defending the bid to build a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Westminster, next to the Houses of Parliament.
UCL Centre’s position on this proposal is unequivocal in its support. We believe the Memorial and Learning Centre will signal an enduring message that the Holocaust and everything it teaches must remain prominent in our nation’s consciousness and that education about it is central to the work of building a safer future.
Stuart’s written report states: ‘It will help us as a nation intelligently confront and navigate this complex and troubling history and Britain’s central role within it. The Learning Centre will also compel us to appreciate and reflect on the uncomfortable reality that, as with all historical phenomenon, the Holocaust was not inevitable’.
The Centre also sees its position next to parliament as a critically important factor
‘..locating the Memorial and Learning Centre right next to the seat of our democratic government powerfully emphasises that as a nation we are prepared to reflect on Britain’s relationship with the Holocaust in a candid and honest way.’
‘….Indeed, if the Memorial and Learning Centre is not placed in such a prominent location it will severely diminish its impact and reach and, inevitably, raise questions about Britain’s commitment to educate about the Holocaust and to memorialise its victims’.
Time is of the essence – if survivors of the Holocaust are to live to see this project fulfilled. I hope that the arguments put forward by our Executive Director and others to support this national initiative convince those who will make the final decisions about its future.
The Centre’s MOOC (in partnership with Yad Vashem): Teaching the Holocaust. Innovative Approaches to the Challenges we Face) is now reaching the end with live conversations and tutor feedback. It has been an exciting 3 weeks and we have been thrilled to engage with over 2,000 participants from 88 countries including India, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Brazil, Israel, and Canada. You can still enrol though (up until 6th December) as the course closes finally on 27th December. This will give you plenty of time to benefit from this unique course.
Have a good weekend.