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Holocaust survivor hopes MBE raises awareness of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism

Mindu Hornick has been educating people about the Holocaust for 20 years.

Actors (back row left to right) Dame Penelope Wilton, Nina Sosanya and Sheila Hancock join Holocaust survivor Mindu Hornick (front left) and Rwandan genocide survivor Chantal Uwamahoro (front right) in lighting a candle in memory of all victims of genocide at a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at the QEII Centre in London (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Actors (back row left to right) Dame Penelope Wilton, Nina Sosanya and Sheila Hancock join Holocaust survivor Mindu Hornick (front left) and Rwandan genocide survivor Chantal Uwamahoro (front right) in lighting a candle in memory of all victims of genocide at a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at the QEII Centre in London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Josh Payne, PA

A Holocaust survivor who has been made an MBE for her work in education said she hopes the honour will raise awareness of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

Mindu Hornick, who works with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and the Anne Frank Trust, said educating young people to love each other and “appreciate each other’s faiths and beliefs” is very important in light of “atrocities … going on in the world today”.

The 90-year-old has become an MBE for Holocaust education and commemoration in the West Midlands.

Speaking about her honour, Ms Hornick, who has been educating people about the Holocaust for around 20 years, said: “They rang me up earlier in the week to say I would be receiving it.

“It was a bit out of the blue but it is out of recognition for the work I do with Holocaust education. It was an absolute surprise.

“I feel honoured that my work has been recognised.”

It is very important that we don't just mourn our losses and our tragic events, but we should also mourn others going on now in the 21st century Mindu Hornick

Asked if she hoped the MBE would increase awareness of Holocaust education, Ms Hornick said: “I’m 90 now and it is always an effort to do (Holocaust Memorial Days) but with everything that is going on in the world today – with Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other unacceptable things that are happening – I think it is important to educate young people.

“So education is the most important thing to me.

“I definitely hope the honour will increase awareness of what we are trying to do.”

She went on: “In my opinion, it is very important that we don’t just mourn our losses and our tragic events, but we should also mourn others going on now in the 21st century.

“There has been a terrible rise of all kinds of atrocities – it is very important to educate young people to love each other and to appreciate each other’s faith and beliefs.”

Ms Hornick, who was born in Czechoslovakia and now lives in Birmingham, was one of a number of people honoured for their work in Holocaust education.

Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: “We are delighted that so many survivors of the Holocaust have been recognised in the New Year Honours list 2020.

“Having experienced unthinkable trauma and loss at the hands of the Nazis, these remarkable individuals now dedicate so much of their time to sharing their testimony.

“Their efforts to share their experiences have an immeasurable impact, both honouring their loved ones who were murdered by the Nazis, and teaching about the dangers of prejudice, intolerance and hatred.

“This is a fitting time for the announcement, almost 75 years after the liberation of the most notorious Nazi death camp, Auschwitz, and as survivors are becoming fewer and less able to share their testimony.

“It is right that we recognise the impact that they have had on Holocaust education in the UK.

“We are also delighted to see survivors of more recent genocides recognised for their tireless work to share their experiences across the UK.”

PA

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