Some NUS delegates think it’s wrong to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day

There was applause

Today, on Adolf Hitler’s 127th birthday, the National Union of Students (NUS) conference heard arguments against the official commemoration of the Holocaust.

A seemingly uncontroversial amendment to a motion combating anti-Semitism on campuses argued that “education is vital” and the NUS should coordinate events on Holocaust Memorial Day.

But some of the delegates present weren’t happy. Chester University’s Darta Kaleja argued against the amendment on the grounds that it singled out the Holocaust and ignored other global atrocities.

 

She told the conference: “I am against the NUS ignoring and forgetting other mass genocides and prioritising others.

“It suggests some lives are more important than others. When during my education was I taught about the genocides in Tibet or Rwanda? It is important to commemorate all of them.”

Her remarks were met with applause. This view was also articulated by UEA’s Welfare, Community & Diversity Officer, Jo Swo on Twitter:

Speaking in favour of the amendment, Sam Gold, of Leeds University, said: “The living memory of the Holocaust is dying.”

The Union of Jewish Students released this statement:

“We are truly shocked that some delegates chose to challenge an amendment submitted by Birmingham Guild of Students asking NUS to officially commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. The applause for these delegates’ speeches made today’s conference uncomfortable for Jewish delegates and suggests that NUS is unwelcoming to Jewish students.”

The Holocaust was by far the deadliest genocide in history. Between 1941 and 1945 around 6 million Jews, including 1.5 million children were systematically murdered by Nazi Germany.

The Holocaust Memorial Day and Trust also observe and that people are aware that not only Jews, but, Gypsies, Soviet POWs and civilians, Poles, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the disabled, Serbs and Slovenes, Socialists, Communists, Trade Unionists, Spanish Republicans and Freemasons were massacred across not only Europe, but North Africa and the Middle East during the genocide.

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