Churches: MP tables motion on religious genocide

East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell has marked the 80th anniversary of the 1942 ‘Wannsee Convention’ in Germany with a Westminster parliamentary call to ensure that the impact of anti-Semitism and religious discrimination is never forgotten.

By Billy Kennedy
Saturday, 8th January 2022, 2:42 am
Updated Sunday, 9th January 2022, 9:44 am

The ‘Wansee Convention’ was a high-level meeting of German government officials to discuss and implement the so-called “Final Solution of the Jewish Question”, which ultimately envisaged that millions of Jews, some not living on German-controlled territory, would be eradicated as part of the Nazi programme.

Mr Campbell’s motion in the House of Commons expresses hope that current and future generations will repudiate continuing anti-Semitism and never forget the scale of the atrocities which took place in the 1940s.

Mr Campbell said: “Eighty years on from this meeting of German officials it can be easy to forget exactly what the Wannsee Convention was planning. It was the targeting of a religious group with the aim of their extermination.

Gregory Campbell has made a Westminster parliamentary call to ensure that the impact of anti-Semitism and religious discrimination is never forgotten

“The horrors of the Holocaust should never be forgotten and it is important that anniversaries like this are marked. However, we have seen a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in recent years across Europe, including here in Northern Ireland. It was deeply depressing that in 2019, the American Jewish playwright, author and journalist Tuvia Tenenbom, whilst filming in parts of Londonderry, said he had never witnessed ‘so much hatred for the Jews’.

“I hope MPs of all parties from across the House of Commons will support this motion. There are very few people alive now who witnessed those horrors first-hand, but there is a duty to ensure that future generations do not forget the horrors which came from such anti-Semitism.”

The text of the Gregory Campbell’s Commons motion is: “That this House notes January 2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the ‘Wannsee Conference’ where a number of German government representatives met outside Berlin in 1942 and formalised the procedures and practical steps to deal with what was termed the Jewish question that would ultimately lead to the mass murder of millions of Jewish people; and expresses the hope that people from nations across the world will take steps that current and future generations repudiate continuing anti-Semitic incidents and never forget the scale of atrocities which took place during that horrendous period of European history.”

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Ballymagrane Presbyterian Church, Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone. Picture: Billy Maxwell

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