On 29 November, 1941, my grandmother, Ilse Cohn, was shot here, in this field, by members of the Nazi death squad Einsatzkommando 3, under the command of a Swiss-born SS colonel called Karl Jäger. On that one day alone, they murdered 2,000 Jews who had been deported by train from Vienna and from my grandmother's hometown of Breslau. So I have come to honour my grandmother's memory. My mother was her only child and although Ilse had three brothers, she had no nephews or nieces. My brother and I, and my two children, are her only living relatives.
In an increasingly divisive world, and at a time when Europe is alarmingly turning to nationalism and extremist politicians, this tragic teenager, who died nearly 70 years ago and who never got to live out the life she planned, can do more than many politicians to demonstrate how we should live together as members of one human race.
One wonders why the world insists on re-visiting Rwanda's violent past when it has such a promising future. To be sure, we must never forget, which is why last night's touching service was so important. Today though, when I think of Rwanda, I think of Joyce, Bruce, and Victor, and celebrate the victory of a bright future over a dark past.
Well done Beyonce and Jay-Z . We appreciate your visit and, as we reflect on the 69th anniversary of Anne's terrible death in Bergen-Belsen (the actual date will never be known but it was around three weeks before the camp's liberation) I think you are wonderful for reminding the world what Anne Frank is all about.
It is doubtful that even the most dedicated cinephile will know Dis-moi, or Aujour'dui dis-moi as it is also known. It was commissioned for French TV, and has been shown only once or twice in the deepest recesses of thorough retrospectives. It has never before been subtitled for an English speaking audience (as it will be for the screening on March 13th).
If you believe Nicolas Anelka, his use of the 'quenelle' was a conscious and deliberate "up yours" to the French establishment in support of friend Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala. But, for many in this country, the 'quenelle' was almost unheard of, and many still argue that it is an apolitical rejection of the state and Zionism. However, it is a ghastly reminder of modern anti-Semitism.
Whatever you do, remember that the theme of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day is 'journeys'. Journeys are about getting from one place to another. If we truly want to honour the lives of all those who suffered under the Nazi regime, it is our duty to ensure that we, as a society, take note of our starting point and make sure that we move forward to a more promising final destination.
Monday is Holocaust Memorial Day. I am sometimes asked if we still need to remember those who died in the Holocaust - after all, it was such a long time ago. Isn't it time we all moved on? And surely more recent events should take up more of our attention? My answer is an emphatic 'No!'. In fact, the occurrence of genocides since the Holocaust demonstrates how very important it is to commemorate the attempted annihilation of Europe's Jewish population, and all victims of Nazi Persecution. There have been genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur - showing all too clearly that lessons have not been learnt from the past. There is an even greater need to remember, inform and raise awareness of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.