One of the most important lessons of the Holocaust is the message of “never again”: the idea that we cannot let this genocidal history repeat itself. Yet this history continues to repeat itself, despite the assurances of “never again”. We see “never again” become reserved for a select few, instead of it becoming a call for liberation and freedom from oppression for all people.
At MRN, we dedicate this day to commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, including Jewish people, Romani people, Slavic people, queer people, disabled people, Black people, socialists, sex workers, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Roman Catholics. We honour their memory, and pay our respects to all the lives lost, and to all the lives and communities forever affected by this atrocity.
Respecting the memories of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust, and in all other genocides since, is about condemning the genocides currently underway, and standing in solidarity with Palestinians and all other communities resisting genocide. To refuse to stand in solidarity with Palestinians and other communities currently resisting genocide is quite possibly one of the biggest forms of disrespect to all those whose lives were tragically lost or permanently altered by the Holocaust and its enduring legacy.
We believe that “never again” applies to all people, which is why we resolutely condemn all genocides since the Holocaust, all genocides before it, and all genocides currently underway: such as Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people, the genocides in Congo, Yemen and Sudan, and the genocides of Indigenous people around the world. As a migration charity, we work hard to expose and condemn the root causes of displacement, such as genocide, (settler) colonialism and imperialism.
Time and time again, we see the fragility of freedom in action: we see dehumanising rhetoric being normalised, which gives way to violence, oppression, ethnic cleansing and genocide. So for us, “never again” is a call for justice. It is a call to condemn genocide and genocidal rhetoric wherever we see it. But it is also a call to condemn dehumanising rhetoric against all marginalised communities: migrant (including refugee) communities, queer communities, Muslims, Jewish people and BIPOC (Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Colour). Dehumanisation paves the way to genocide, and we must not become indifferent to it.