Welcome from the Chairperson
The Holocaust was unprecedented in history. It was the attempt by Nazi Germany to destroy the Jewish people of Europe, their history and their culture, and to murder other peoples because of their ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs. Persons, groups and governments made choices that legalised discrimination, allowing prejudice and hatred to flourish that would ultimately justify and facilitate mass murder.
The fear and uncertainty which prevailed in 1930s Europe, nurtured the extremes which unleashed the cataclysmic disaster on the world that was the Holocaust. It did not emerge spontaneously, it was the result of seeds sown over many years. Those who perpetrated the Holocaust were, like their victims, ordinary men and women. Yet, given fertile ground for hatred, they became killers and the world became a dangerous place.
Today, in our fast-moving world, we are mindful of the surge in ‘misinformation’. We are experiencing an increase in antisemitism and a prevelance of denial and distortortion of the Holocaust. With few Holocaust survivors left to carry the burden of memory, it becomes even more important to educate generations now living.
Through its educational programmes, HETI seeks to promote understanding of current issues, seeking to challenge antisemitism and other forms of prejudice and intolerance. We teach about the dangers of bigotry, stereotyping and discrimination and we encourage respect and acceptance for all people.
Our vigilance and endeavour to fight hatred and fear wherever they emerge, will strengthen our resolve that the Holocaust cannot, and must not be repeated.
Dr Thomas O’Dowd