The Herald has a number of short pieces by various people for International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The one by Chris Finlayson stood out forme:
Every Holocaust Memorial Day, people solemnly repeat the famous phrase “never again”. The World was so traumatised by the horrors of what happened in Germany in the years 1939 to 1945 that no one ever believed it could possibly happen again.
But look at the events of the past 12 months: all across Europe we see the rise of far-right parties who have anti-Semitism at their core; even the British Labour Party has had to hold an inquiry into anti-Semitism within its ranks. Extremism is infecting the politics of many societies.
The phrase “never again” rings hollow.
The lethal obsession with Jews changes its form every generation but the essential irrational hatred is still there.
An understandable response would be despair. That is unacceptable. The beast needs to be confronted by all decent people year in and year out, decade in and decade out. History has shown that anti-Semitism will never be defeated but it must always be challenged and contained.
It is sadly true that we will never defeat anti-Semitism, which is all the more reason we must challenge it when it occurs – to contain it.