Scottish Parliament hosts Holocaust memorial debate

A moving debate on the Holocaust, initiated by Adam Tomkins MSP, has taken place in Holyrood.

A motion put forward by Mr Tomkins urged the Parliament to recognise the 27 January as Holocaust Memorial Day and to ‘remember the six million men, women and children murdered by the Nazi regime in occupied Europe’. The full text of the motion can be found, below.

Mr Tomkins spoke movingly about those who lost their lives in the atrocity and said that the Holocaust was “a new order of criminality”. Quoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Mr Tomkins said that “the … dignity and … inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.

“The foundation of justice” he said, “is the inherent dignity of every member of the human family, and it is beyond the reach of mere law to change, alter or affect that foundation, because the rights that flow from it are inalienable.” Mr Tomkins urged people to cling to these words and to “act true to them in everything that we do”.

He finished by stating that: “by ensuring that the Holocaust is never forgotten, we can ensure that it is never repeated”.

A number of other MSPs contributed to the debate and the full transcript can be found from column 75 onwards in this document.


Full text of Adam Tomkins’ motion:

‘That the Parliament recognises that 27 January 2018 marks Holocaust Memorial Day; believes that the day serves as an opportunity for learning institutions, faith groups and communities across Scotland, including in Glasgow, to remember the six million men, women and children murdered by the Nazi regime in occupied Europe; notes that the theme of the 2018 memorial day is the Power of Words; understands that this theme aims to look at how words can make a difference, both for good and evil; values the Holocaust Education Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz project, which gives two post-16 students from every school and college in Scotland the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau; celebrates the Holocaust survivors who subsequently made Scotland their home; thanks them for their contribution to Scotland as a nation, and acknowledges the view that anti-Semitism in all its forms should be challenged without fear or favour.’