In a week’s time Britain will mark Holocaust Memorial Day and events will take place all over the country to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and to remember the death of (probably more than) 6 million Jews in Hitler’s “final solution of the Jewish question” during World War 2.
Today however is another anniversary, as significant but hardly remembered; January 20th 2012 is the seventieth anniversary of the Wannsee conference in Berlin. That one day conference meeting brought together some of the top figures in the Nazi regime to finalise plans to rid not only Germany but all of Europe of its Jewish population. History – and the Holocaust Research Project website – tell us the rest of the story, but the question is whether or not the stupendously horrific shock of the holocaust actually taught mankind any lessons.
Sadly, mankind has not learnt their collective lessons from the events that followed the Wannsee conference. While it has been rightly understood that a race that has any claims to common humanity must do its best to ensure there can never be another ‘Shoa’, we still see antisemitism on the rise in Britain and mainland Europe.
In British universities antisemitic speakers are allowed (or worse, invited) onto campus to incite hatred of Israel and Jewish people. The accelerating growth of Muslim communities in Europe has led to anti-Israel demonstrations where hate speech laws are blatantly flouted – and the delegtimisation and boycotts campaigns of groups like the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign continue to demonise the Middle East’s only true democracy and the world’s only Jewish state.
It may only be seventy years on from Wannsee, but even seven hundred has not been enough for antisemitism – hatred without a cause – to be leached out of humanity. The world’s oldest hatred is alive and well!
Christian Middle East Watch laments bitterly that it was an avowedly Christian country that sponsored the Wannsee conference and the subsequent holocaust. Just as with the crusades, the Medieval ghettos, the Inquisition and the pogroms, this was not in the heart of the God that we worship!