The Mission Statement for the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation.
The Mission Statement for the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, published today (4 December 2018), vows that the national Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre will reaffirm Britain’s commitment to stand up against antisemitism, prejudice and hatred in all its forms.
UK Holocaust Memorial Mission Statement
The United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial is the UK’s national establishment for remembrance of the Holocaust. It is dedicated to the 6 million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust and all other victims of the Nazis and their collaborators.
The Memorial will stand as a reminder of the horrors of the past and will encourage reflection on their implications for British government and society, both at the time and subsequently. The view of Parliament from the Memorial will serve as a permanent reminder that political decisions have far-reaching consequences. By setting history’s worst example of the disintegration of democratic values against the greatest emblem of Britain’s aspirations for democracy, it will stand as a permanent reminder of the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy to be vigilant and responsive whenever and wherever those values are threatened.
We seek to preserve the memory of the Holocaust whilst also considering its contemporary relevance. The Holocaust – the murder of Europe’s Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators – remains unsurpassed as a historical event in its aims and extent, yet the questions it raises have many echoes in the modern world, including (but not restricted to) subsequent genocides and the persistence of antisemitism.
Deeper understanding of the Holocaust, and of Britain’s responses to it, therefore prompts us to ask challenging questions about human behaviour and the world around us. The UK Holocaust Memorial will thus aim both to remember and to encourage reflection on the lessons of the past amongst all British citizens and visitors of all nationalities. In dedicating itself to this mission, Britain reaffirms its commitment to stand up against antisemitism, prejudice and hatred in all its forms
How we will deepen understanding of the Holocaust and Britain’s response
We seek to combine a striking architectural monument with an engaging, reflective and powerful exhibition. This will be founded on academic research and judicious use of sources, combined with an experiential approach to immerse visitors in the historical content and provoke their critical thinking.
The display will confront the immense human calamity caused by the destruction of Europe’s Jewish communities during the Holocaust, arousing a sincere commitment to mourn, remember and act. Victims will be remembered as individuals, not nameless statistics.
The thematic exhibition will set the Holocaust within the British narrative: historically, politically and culturally. This narrative will be balanced, addressing the complexities of Britain’s ambiguous responses to the Holocaust, avoiding simplistic judgements and encouraging visitors to critically reflect on whether more could have been done, both by policymakers and by society as a whole.
We will work with other institutions across the UK supporting Holocaust commemoration and education. We will complement the permanent exhibition with online material, drawing on the same research and sources, making links to other relevant sites, and promoting a deeper understanding of the Holocaust among as wide an audience as possible.
Facing history honestly requires us to question the role of our own Parliament, government and society in the history of the Holocaust, and recurring genocides in its aftermath. The obligation to confront the contemporary rise of antisemitism will not be overlooked, in light of the recent rise of extremist views in Britain and many other countries.