Braes High pupils’ message for Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘never again’

Today is the one day in the year dedicated to the solemn commemoration of a crime so vast and depraved it surpasses any normal human comprehension.

But pupils at Braes High School, as on past occasions, aim to convey the message of Holocaust Memorial Day beyond this single occasion in a way they hope will have lasting effect.

Their efforts last year also made the point that the horrors visited upon Jews of all nations should serve as a stark warning that the rank evil perpetrated by the Nazis is greater than any mere “history”.

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Racism, ant-Semitism, the hatred and “othering” of human beings on the grounds of ethnicity, sexual orientation or political beliefs, even disability are - they make clear - the sinister foundations of future atrocities.

Their powerful message is a vivid reminder of the truism that those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

Last year they were praised by a United Nations forensic investigator for their moving play depicting the reality behind the bald statistics of mass murder.

They marked the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were systematically rounded up and butchered by the Nazis, and have also been praised for shining a light on the genocide of Srebenica - an atrocity which happened despite the supposed determination of the civilised world never again to tolerate the barbarism of Fascism.

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Braes pupils have also been involved in celebrating the life of Jane Haining, a heroic Scots missionary murdered by the Nazis for trying to protect her Jewish pupils.

Jane, who was matron of a Scottish Mission Girls School in Budapest, could easily have gone home when the Nazis came to power, but instead sacrificed her life.

A film made by the Braes pupils to tell her story was shown at the opening of a heritage centre dedicated to her story at Dunscore in Dumfriesshire, where she was born.

On Wednesday Braes pupils will again mark the Holocaust, and the Srebenica genocide, through performance and display.

It promises to be a memorable event.

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