Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

14 Shevat 5761 - Febuary 7, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Remembering the Holocaust in London
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

"The Holocaust didn't start with the Gas Chambers of Auschwitz. Auschwitz was the culmination of years of institutionalized hatred, racism and prejudice," said Hackney's Mayor, Councilor Joe Lobenstein at the commencement of last week's full Council meeting.

"I hasten to add that although the word Holocaust is usually referred to in connection with the dreadful events which occurred during the Second World War when six million innocent Jews -- men, women and children -- were cruelly annihilated, this memorial day, which has been designated by parliament as an annual event, should equally commemorate others who throughout the past century have been tortured and murdered for no reason other than the color of their skin, their religion or politics," said Councilor Lobenstein.

He continued: "I lived through the beginning of the era which culminated in the Holocaust. My late father -- the most peace loving person one can imagine -- was sent to concentration camp because he was a Jew. I was expelled from my primary school because I was a Jew. I traveled with my late father during holiday time, when customers told him, `Please don't call on us again, because our children will report us that we trade with a Jew.' I saw the synagogue in our town, a most magnificent building, burnt down on Kristallnacht, whilst hundreds of onlookers were dancing for joy at what was being done."

The Mayor concluded: "These atrocities do not occur from one day to the next. They are the direct consequence of years of hatred, prejudice and racism. Let us therefore resolve that we as an Authority will do all in our power to eradicate the evil of prejudice so that we can be confident that never again will so ghastly events recur."

The Mayor's speech was followed by expressions of support from Councilor Jules Pipe on behalf of the Labor Group of Councilors, Councilor Mark Williams (Liberal Democrat), Councilor Chris O'Leary (Conservative) and Councilor Chit Chong (Green Party).

The Mayor lit a candle in memory of those who were killed, after which the Council stood for a minute's silence.


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