Kindertransport refugee Lord Dubs’ features in video for Holocaust Memorial Day
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Kindertransport refugee Lord Dubs’ features in video for Holocaust Memorial Day

Kindertransport refugee and Labour peer said: 'It's important we remember. And it’s important that we say resolutely: these things must never be allowed to happen again'

Joe Millis is a journalist

Barbara Winton with kindertransport refugee Lord Alf Dubs and HET Ambassadors
Barbara Winton with kindertransport refugee Lord Alf Dubs and HET Ambassadors

Czechoslovakia-born Kindertransport refugee Lord Dubs featured in a Holocaust Memorial Day message by the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

In his message, Labour peer Lord Dubs, who escaped on a Kindertransport from Prague in the summer of 1939, recalled when he first became aware of the danger: “The first signs that the Nazis came in, was at school. We had to tear a picture of the Czech President out of our school books and stick in the picture of Hitler.

“And there were German soldiers everywhere and I could sense that even as a six-year-old.

“My father certainly was aware of it because he said to his cousins if the Nazis occupied Prague he’s getting out. And his cousin said, no, they’ll take their chance. And in 1942, they were taken to Auschwitz.”

He added that Britain had “saved our lives and that was a fantastic tradition Britain showed, in taking children, to save us from the Nazis”.

Lord Dubs who has urged the government to take in more refugees from Syria and elsewhere, said: “So, many of us feel that we’d like Britain to go on being as humanitarian today, when there is a new refugee crisis.

“And there are children who need safety, and whether we can’t be a bit more generous in providing safety for at least some of them?”

On the issue of Holocaust denial, Lord Dubs was scathing. “When I meet people or hear of people who’ve denied the Holocaust, I find that deeply shocking,” he said.

“It goes against all the evidence of history, it goes against the people who did manage to survive the camps, and who’ve got a terrible story to tell of what happened there, and how they saw their families led off to the gas chambers.

“When I hear and see antisemitism, the tropes, the conspiracy theories and so on, I feel depressed and sad. Have people learnt nothing of the Holocaust? Don’t they understand how sensitive this is to people who’ve got relatives who died in the camps?

“So, it’s important we remember. And it’s important that we say resolutely: these things must never be allowed to happen again.”

He said that “we owe it to the people who died in the camps that their memory will remain, and what happened will remain in human consciousness”.

Corbyn, however, faced a criticism for tweeting Lord Dubs’ video, with many reminding the Labour leader that he had consorted with Holocaust deniers and antisemites.

Lee Kern tweeted: “You call Hamas your brothers & friends. Hamas want to exterminate every Jew in the world. You support Hezbollah. Hezbollah want to exterminate every Jew in the world. You support Raed Salah. He says Jews are germs. You are squarely in the camp of another Holocaust happening again.”

 

Another tweeter, GOsborneGenius, wrote: “Six years after Deir Yassin Remembered, run by Paul Eisen, was exposed as a front for Holocaust Denial by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (of which you were a patron)  you took your new wife Laura to a DYR event. You’re an anti-Semite.”

Meanwhile, Corbyn also came under fire for tweeting a photo of himself signing the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment.

In his tweet, he wrote: “In memory of the millions of Jewish people, and others, who perished in the Holocaust. Let us never allow antisemitism or any other form of racism to disfigure our society.”

Tweeter Arsen Ostrovsky wrote: “Don’t you dare, don’t you dare @jeremycorbyn, defame the memory of the 6 million Jews murdered in the #Holocaust. You, who shares platforms with Holocaust deniers, calls Hamas / Hezbollah ‘friends’ & single-handedly responsible for surge in Antisemitism in UK, have no right!”

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