I am honoured to be the chairperson of Holocaust Education Trust Ireland. I congratulate the trustees on their success in establishing Holocaust education and promoting Holocaust awareness in Ireland.
Knowing our history helps us to learn from the mistakes of the past. The motto of HETI, “Learning from the Past – Lessons for Today”, sums this up very well. The attempt by the Nazis to exterminate the Jews of Europe and to annihilate other groups because of their nationality, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs was not an accident of history. It was a conscious policy, carefully planned and administered by an educated elite with the active co-operation of tens of thousands and the complicity of millions.
The Holocaust took place because individuals, organisations and nations made decisions to act or not to act. It occurred because persons, groups and governments made choices that not only legalised discrimination, but also allowed prejudice and hatred to flourish which would ultimately justify and facilitate mass murder.
Through its educational programmes and cultural projects, Holocaust Education Trust Ireland helps us to understand the roots, ramifications and implications of antisemitism and other forms of intolerance. The Trust cooperates with educators to teach future generations about the dangers of bigotry, stereotyping and hatred, the importance of accepting and celebrating diversity, and the need to appreciate and protect democratic institutions and values.
We thank all those who make these programmes and projects possible. Donations are essential for the work of
Holocaust Education Trust Ireland in order for it to continue into the future and we are grateful to our donors and
sponsors and those who have lent their names, expertise and assistance to our endeavours.
Peter Cassells, Chairperson