Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was such a day to commemorate the millions of black African victims of slavery? Unlike the "six million" figure that so often goes with statistic about the number of Jews killed during the Second World War, it's not so easy to quantify when it comes to black slaves.
"We must exterminate these people (homosexuals) root and branch... We can't permit such danger to the country; the homosexual must be entirely eliminated." With these chilling words, the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, set out the Nazi master plan for the sexual cleansing of the Aryan race. From 1933-1945, an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 men were arrested under paragraph 175 for the crime of homosexuality. Some were tried and sentenced in the courts; others were sent direct to concentration camps without any trial or formal sentence. The death rate of gay prisoners in the camps was over 50%, the highest among non-Jewish victims.
It is important to engage with and encourage our community to continue their efforts to stand up against racism and hate crime by working together to pursue the dignity of difference. Holocaust Memorial Day is an affirmation that we should fight against intolerance and promote integration. All communities should work together to raise awareness of the suffering of others.
The Holocaust was a genocide, a systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. As President Shimon Peres has said, it was "the greatest darkness that mankind has known". Jews were abandoned by humanity. But there were human beings who were sensitive to this tragedy...
The millions of Holocaust victims will be remembered on Tuesday as part of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Rather than turning this occasion into yet another gory battlefield of ideologies, the historical anguish should prompt us to work against the systems of collective hatred - beyond religious, ethnic and racial boundaries.
Remembering and marking the Holocaust is one of the most important things that we as a society can do. If we fail to remember and learn from the past, then we are surely doomed to repeat past mistakes. Commemorating the Holocaust is essential to educating our children and others who may not know or be sufficiently familiar with the horrific, unique and unprecedented events of the 1930s and 1940s in Nazi Europe. Educating society on the horrors of the Holocaust is perhaps now, 70 years on from the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and other concentration and death camps, more important than ever.
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.