Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Holocaust Memorial Day - Never Forget!

Tomorrow is  Holocaust Memorial Day: "a time to remember those who have been murdered in the Holocaust and under Nazi persecution, in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. On HMD we act to learn the lessons of the past to create a safer, better future."

It's theme this year is Untold Stories. The stories of the disabled and mentally ill people killed by the Nazis have not been told and so many people do not know about what happened. 
Nazi propaganda in the form of posters, news-reels and cinema films portrayed disabled people as "useless eaters" and people who had "lives unworthy of living". The propaganda stressed the high cost of supporting disabled people, and suggested that there was something unhealthy or even unnatural about society paying for this." Ouch
Ouch, the BBC's disability website explains what the Nazis did.

There isn't a memorial anywhere for the disabled victims of the Nazis but The Chair: Holocaust Memorial to Disabled People is a project to work for memorials across the world.

Resistance a "moving image installation" about the Nazi genocide of disabled people, how some disabled people resisted, and making the connection with current issues such as pre-natal screening and assisted suicide.

Indeed, there is a lot of similarities in how disabled people are being talked about by politicians and in the media in the UK. We are "useless eaters" and cost society "too much". Even those of us who work and pay taxes are faced with increasing difficulties in keeping those jobs as Access to Work is threatened and the Independent Living Fund are axed. and Disability Living Allowance (which helps many disabled people to stay in work) is being scrapped for a more narrow benefit to be called Personal Independence Payment.

Holocaust Memorial Day is not just remembering the past but about learning from the past and taking action. 

Oor Mad History records what mad/mentally ill people in the Lothians have done to change things for the better. Mad people need to go on changing things and challenging the current assumptions about us.  And OMH will record them! 

Never forget!


darby said...

Thank you for reminding us that people with disabilities were Holocaust victims, too. Ten years ago, I made a radio documentary on this topic.

Anne said...

Thank you so much for that link, Darby, and for making the documentary. I am listening to it now. It is very powerful. Have linked to it on our Facebook page.