South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has marked Holocaust Memorial Day by attending a talk by 86 year old Holocaust survivor, Janine Webber, hosted by the Scottish Parliament.
Commenting Ms McAlpine said,
“It was such a privilege to listen to Janine Webber as she spoke in Parliament this week. The horrors that she, and millions of others, endured during the war are unimaginable and you could hear a pin drop as the audience listened to her incredibly moving story.”
The SNP MSP was speaking as she signed a Holocaust Memorial Day Book of Commitment in the Scottish Parliament.
“No words of mine can express the enormity of the systematic killing of 6 million other Jewish people, so instead I paraphrase the words of a survivor, the Nobel Prizewinner Elie Wiesel who swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings were enduring suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Holocaust Memorial Day reminds us of this, to be indifferent to suffering means we take the side of evil.”
Janine, a Polish Jew, endured unimaginable horrors during the Second World War, including the murder of her grandmother, father and brother by the Nazis and the death of her mother from Typhus. From the ages of seven to twelve she survived by living in holes in the ground or under stables and relying on the kindness of strangers.
By the time the war ended, 91% of Poland’s three million Jews had died. Janine was one of only 9% who survived. She moved to France as a teenager and then England where she has lived ever since.
Mrs Webber now spends her time working with the Holocaust Educational Trust, talking in schools about her experiences because she believes it’s vital that the world never forgets what happened.
The Holocaust Educational Trust’s mission is to educate every person from every background in the UK about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance. https://www.het.org.uk/
Attached: image of Joan McAlpine MSP signing the Holocaust Memorial Day Book of Commitment at the Scottish Parliament