Then they came for me...

January 28, 2005 ,

WESTMINSTER Hall has staged many important events in its long history, from the trial of Charles I, to the lying in state of Winston Churchill exactly 40 years ago.

The great war leader has always been controversial in Wales for sending in troops when miners went on strike in Tonypandy in 1910.

But this week Westminster Hall hosted an event linked to the war that Churchill helped to win.

Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the day that the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz, in Poland, was liberated.
It is right that we all, from Queen and Prime Minister, to school student, stop and reflect on what happened at Auschwitz.

The most difficult thing to grasp sometimes is how ordinary people could have stood by while this was happening.
A famous German writer Hannah Arendt once talked about “the banality of evil”.

Humans are capable of terrible deeds unless we guard at all times against prejudice, hatred and racism.

In the eighteenth century Edmund Burke said, “It is enough for evil to triumph that good men do nothing”.

Perhaps even Prince Harry’s stupid prank of wearing a swastika to a fancy dress party will inadvertently help people to remember how millions were slaughtered here in Europe just 60 years ago.
Even just a few years ago in what was Yugoslavia, thousands were “ethnically cleansed” on our own continent.

As George Santayana said “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it”.

One man who famously spoke out in Nazi Germany was Reverend Martin Niemoller.
He famously recounted how he had not spoken out when they came for the Communists, and then the Jews because he was neither.

“Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me”.