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Assembly Title
Holocaust Memorial Day 2

Submitted by
J. Robinson

Age Group

To raise awareness of the events which have lead to a Holocaust Memorial Day being celebrated

Time of Year
Leading up to 27th January


P: Welcome to Kingfishers assembly. We are going to talk about the Holocaust, which took place during the Second World War. The Holocaust was the mass killing of people who did not follow or agree with Hitler and the Nazis' beliefs. They may have been a different religion, race or physically different in some way or just old. Hitler believed because people are different they can be considered inferior to others. The British Holocaust Memorial Day is a recent event. Our modern civilisation is founded upon the belief that all men are created equal and that goodness will eventually triumph against evil. Nothing before or since has had such a dreadful impact on our society as the Holocaust. It will always be a reminder that evil can triumph if good men and women stand by and allow it to happen.

P: The British government along with other organisations has drawn up a statement of commitment to ensure something so terrible never takes place again. We will now share this with you.

Statement of Commitment.

1. We recognise that the Holocaust shook the minds of modern times, its present character and horror will always hold true meaning.
2. We believe the Holocaust must have a permanent place in our nation's shared memory. We honour the survivors still with us, and reaffirm our shared goals of mutual understanding and justice. We must make sure that future generations understand the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its consequences.
3. We vow to remember the victims of Nazi persecution and of all genocide.
4. We value the sacrifices of those who have risked their lives to protect or rescue victims as a touchstone of the human capacity for good in the face of evil.
5. We know that some people still believe that race, religion or disability makes some people's lives worth less than others. We are all God's children and all valued equally. We have a responsibility to educate these people to value all people equally.
6. We pledge to strengthen our efforts to promote education and research about the Holocaust and other genocides. We will do our utmost to make sure that the lessons of such events are fully learnt.
7. We will continue to encourage Holocaust remembrance by holding an annual UK Holocaust Memorial Day. We condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism. We value a free, tolerant and democratic society.

P: Jewish Children in Germany felt the impact of the Nazis beliefs before the Second World War started. Jewish people were forced to carry identity cards and wear a yellow star on their clothes.

P: Jewish children were not allowed to attend the same schools as non-Jews and eventually they were not allowed to attend school at all.

P: Immediately after Hitler and the Nazis came to power in 1933, associations were established in Britain and other countries to help refugees. They were made up of both Christian and Jewish organisations.

P: Between 1938 and 1945 Britain offered a home to children from countries under German power. Over 10,000 children were brought to Britain on trains called the 'Kindertransports', the children's transports. Kinder is the German word for Children.
(Tableau showing children leaving)

P: The children were aged from toddlers to teenagers. Many believed they would see their parents again. When the war was over and the horrific events of the Holocaust were discovered it was clear that many of these children would never see their families again.

P: Imagine how it would feel to have to go and live in a strange country where you did not speak the language and never seeing any members of your family again.

P: This is why we all have a responsibility to make sure that we play our part in being a good member of the community to which we belong.

P: Sometimes it can be easier to ignore what is happening around us and do nothing when we are confronted with difficult situations.

P: Many individuals did stand up and help Jews during the Second World War. It was very frightening for these people and if they were found out they would have been imprisoned or killed as well.

P: Over 14,000 non-Jews have been awarded the title 'Righteous Among the Nations' for their attempts to rescue Jews during the Holocaust.

P: The story of Oskar Schindler the industrialist who rescued over 1000 Jews by providing work in his factory, is well known and Steven Spielberg has made the film 'Schindler's List', but many other people managed to save just one or two Jews by helping them to hide from the Nazis. These people show us that even in the middle of great danger and evil, good can still work for a better world.

P: Next time you see someone who needs help, don't turn your back, walk away and ignore the situation - tell someone.

P: Pastor Niemoeller was a Protestant Church man in Germany during the Nazi rule. He was imprisoned in 1937 for his opposition to the Nazis.
We will end this assembly today with his words, he warned of what could happen if you do nothing when someone is being mistreated.

'First they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the Trade Unions and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.'

Sing Shalom

'Shalom my friend, shalom my friend
Shalom, Shalom
The peace of Christ I give you today
Shalom, Shalom'

S. Daly 2000

Last updated 23-7-12.