Learning about the Holocaust can help to protect youngsters from extremism, the Education Secretary has said.
Being taught about the genocide helps schoolchildren to understand “the dangers of prejudice, bigotry and intolerance”, Nicky Morgan argued.
In a speech to introduce the the Holocaust Education Trust (HET) Lord Merlyn-Rees Memorial Lecture, Mrs Morgan said that it is “vitally important” that Britain remembers the Holocaust, those that suffered during it and those that took action against it.
“As a nation Britain is not prone to inaction but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a responsibility to keep what happened fresh in our minds,” she said.
“We must remember collectively so that not a single one of us can ever forget.
“The Holocaust didn’t begin in the gas chambers. It began in the minds of a hateful, ignorant, dangerous few.
“That’s why my department has been so active in leading the fight against extremism in education and attempts to radicalise young people.
“Now more than ever we feel the threat of those who want to put poison in the minds and hatred in the hearts of our children and we must help them develop the resilience to resist their propaganda.
“Learning about the Holocaust helps to do just that – not just informing young people’s history but helping them to understand the dangers of prejudice, bigotry and intolerance and in doing so making them more tolerant, more confident and more resilient as citizens too.
“Let’s make sure that in Britain we continue to educate everyone about the Holocaust so that the evil it represents can never be allowed to flourish again.”
Around six million Jewish men, women and children died in the Holocaust, perishing at the hands of the Nazis in ghettos, mass-shootings and in concentration and extermination camps.
Holocaust Memorial Day is on January 27, the day that Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated in 1945.