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Language: English / Gàidhlig

Seòmar agus comataidhean

Meeting of the Parliament

Meeting date: Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Business Motion, Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill, Motion without Notice, Decision Time


Time for Reflection

Good afternoon. The first item of business is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leaders today are Holly Cameron and Aidan Coleman, who are Holocaust Educational Trust ambassadors.

Holly Cameron (Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassador)

Hi. My name is Holly Cameron, and this is Aidan Coleman, and we are ambassadors for the Holocaust Educational Trust. We took part in the trust’s lessons from Auschwitz project as students from Cumbernauld academy in November 2022. As part of the project, we heard from a Holocaust survivor and took part in a one-day visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. On our return, we are sharing what we have learned with our school community.

I wanted to take part in the project because I have a passion for history, and it was an opportunity to advance my knowledge and to ensure that the stories of the victims are remembered for as long as possible.

As part of the project, we were privileged to hear from Holocaust survivor Eva Clarke BEM. Hearing her testimony—the story of her mother’s survival and Eva’s birth in Mauthausen concentration camp—was incredibly powerful. I am inspired by her dedication to keeping those memories alive when so many people cannot do so.

The visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau was extremely impactful, and I continued to learn about those who lost their lives as more than just a statistic—as individual people. I found visiting Birkenau particularly shocking. It was so vast and seemed never ending. I do not think that I will ever be able to forget that.

Aidan Coleman (Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassador)

For our next steps project, we plan to deliver a presentation to the secondary 3, 4 and 5 history classes, in which we will pass on what we have learned about the Holocaust and the importance of preserving both its history and the memory of those who were murdered.

It is so important that, as young people—and especially as the trust’s ambassadors—we continue to encourage our peers and the wider community to learn about and remember the Holocaust, because it is a reminder of the destruction that mankind is capable of. It is crucial that the Holocaust is never forgotten so that it can never be repeated.

The theme of Holocaust memorial day this year is “Ordinary People”. The theme encourages us to think of those who died and those who survived as people just like us. We need to study both the fate of those who were murdered during the Holocaust and their lives before they were victims in order to keep their memories alive and demonstrate the diversity that was lost.

Thank you so much for inviting us to lead time for reflection and to share our experience and reflections on why Holocaust education is so important for young people. [Applause.]