International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021

Ten years ago today we launched  The Violinist: Clare Galambos Winter, Holocaust Survivor. I’m delighted that it has been reprinted in time for the Holocaust Remembrance Day reception at Parliament this afternoon. I intended the book to be relevant to future readers and Clare’s story will never date.

Today the theme was displaced persons. We heard from speakers young and old about the importance of ‘upstanding’ rather than ‘standing by’ in the face of racism and bigotry in its many forms.

This month the world’s attention has been on events in the United States, culminating in President Trump’s supporters storming the Capitol in Washington three weeks ago. On that day, democracy was saved but, as President Biden warned  in his inauguration address, democracy is fragile. I was most impressed with Timothy Snyder’s powerful article in the New York Times,  The American Abyss, which led me to his book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. It isn’t hard to join the dots and relate his lessons to our own time now in Aotearoa New Zealand.