Former US president Jimmy Carter gave evidence to David Cameron’s Holocaust Commission as the public consultation drew to a close, writes Justin Cohen.
More than 2,500 written submissions have been received in response to a nationwide call for evidence on what more Britain can do to ensure the memory of the Shoah lives on for future generations.
Carter – whose own commission in 1978 led to the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington – said: “We must never forget what happened in the Holocaust. Prime minister David Cameron’s commission with all-party support is set to make an important contribution to this work.”
In London, he met commissioners including survivor Ben Helfgott, Nottingham Holocaust Centre chair Henry Grunwald and Commission chair Mick Davis to discuss the creation of the US museum. A similar dedicated museum in the capital, a giant memorial and new teaching resources are among the suggestions put forward over the past four months in the UK.
Helfgott said: “Few people in the world have made a greater contribution to Holocaust commemoration than President Carter. It is great to have his support for our work and to learn from the experience of his own commission.”
Since the commission’s launch on Holocaust Memorial Day in January, more than 1,000 people have taken part in consultation events across the country. They included one of the largest gatherings of Holocaust survivors in British history at Wembley Stadium last month.
The commission – including actress Helena Bonham-Carter, broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and figures from all three major political parties – will now consider the evidence before reporting back to the prime minister before the end of the year.
Members will be joined in the latter stages of their deliberations by a young commissioner selected from hundreds of entries to an essay-writing competition with the help of head judge Elie Wiesel, who chaired Carter’s commission