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Letters: We must remember the Holocaust for what it is

On Holocaust Memorial Day I attended an evening commemoration at Titanic Belfast, which very poignantly recalled 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

One thing I couldn't help noticing was the references also to other genocides like Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, which although horrific in themselves, were put alongside the Holocaust in an attempt to make all genocides equal.

If that is the case, then it should be renamed International Genocide Day.

However, it is Holocaust Memorial Day and the Holocaust, or the Shoah as it is called in Hebrew, should be left as it is to remember - not with countless other genocides as well.

The Holocaust was unique both in capacity and cruelty and is unparalleled in modern history. If there is a need for a separate International Genocide Day, there would be many ideas for dates on which to do this.

The Shoah, which means "disaster", or "calamity", should remain on its own day of remembrance - even for the sheer number of Jewish victims who perished.

Ostensibly, other historic anti-Semitic atrocities could be cited, but this one day a year is the one time when society can address the mistreatment of the Hebrew race among the Christian nations of Europe. Let's not weaken that reserve by making it just a general remembrance.

We should remember the Holocaust for what it is - specific hatred and murder of innocent Jews. Another commemoration for other genocides would be more suited as a fitting tribute for those atrocities on an alternative date.

COLIN NEVIN

Bangor, Co Down

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