Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has pledged her ongoing support to the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons From Auschwitz Project and praised HET’s work with young people.

Ms Sturgeon was speaking at a packed reception last week at the Scottish Parliament attended by many HET ambassadors — young people who have heard the first-hand testimony of a Holocaust survivor and who have visited the former concentration and death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.

She told the audience: “I can give you my assurance that as long as I’m First Minister the Scottish government will continue to support the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust…because your work matters. The work you do and the time you invest, not only matters for this generation but also for generations to come.

“All of us should hugely appreciate the importance of learning from the past and applying lessons today and in the future.” Lessons From Auschwitz has been supported by a grant from the Scottish government since 2009, enabling thousands of students and teachers to take part.

Joining Ms Sturgeon were students, teachers and MSPs (members of the Scottish Parliament) including the Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, who hosted the event. HET ambassadors Laura Pasternak and Samuel Oyewusi, who are both from Scotland, spoke about the work they have done since taking part in the Lessons from Auschwitz project.

Holocaust survivor Henry Wuga spoke to the audience, which included his wife Ingrid, about his escape from Nazi Germany  on the Kindertransport following Kristallnacht in November 1938.

Both Henry and Ingrid then settled in Scotland following the move and speak for HET in Scottish schools.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of HET, noted that thanks to the support of the Scottish government thousands of students and teachers had visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, and had returned to their communities motivated to carry the legacy of the Holocaust for future generations.