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DAVID FROST: Prime Minister Tony Blair, the religious and community leaders of our country, joined survivors of Nazi concentration camps to commemorate Britain's first national Holocaust Memorial Day, just yesterday.

[FILM CLIP RUNNING] This was Saturday night. In a moving ceremony at London's Westminster Central Hall more than 200 survivors from the Holocaust recalled their horrific experiences, to try and spread the message 'never again'. Music, readings and dramatic video footage at the landmark event helped to recall the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, in which of course six million Jews were killed. And with me now in fact to join us and talk about it is the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks. Good morning.

JONATHAN SACKS: Good morning.

DAVID FROST: And welcome. Did last night capture, transmit what you hoped?

JONATHAN SACKS: Very much so. It was a powerful and moving occasion and I thought a real move forward in inviting other people to talk about their tragedies. We had people from Rwanda, from Bosnia, from Cambodia. And the Holocaust was therefore used as a frame for their suffering as well as of course for Jewish suffering. I thought it was moving, powerful and necessary.

DAVID FROST: And in terms of, in terms of the sheer volume of these things, obviously with a small country like Cambodia, I suppose, we'd make things proportionately that year zero obviously had a big effect on a large percentage of the population.

JONATHAN SACKS: A quarter of the population were killed.

DAVID FROST: And I suppose the numbers, the Holocaust, the Jewish Holocaust, the Nazi Holocaust, remains the worst of all these, does it?


DAVID FROST: How can you, how can you grade inhumanity and genocide, but I mean -

JONATHAN SACKS: Well you can't but the Holocaust was unique in many ways. The only time an entire industrial infrastructure, a whole technology was turned into factories of death. I think there's nothing quite like this systematic attempt to wipe one people and its culture off the face of the earth. So the Holocaust remains unique but I think what happened last night was a way of saying don't think it was a one off occasion, we still have the lesson to learn because other people sometimes suffer the same risks and within their own terms very profound tragedies.

DAVID FROST: And in terms, people I'm sure, ordinary people as well, normal folk like us, laymen, you can't imagine those people being involved in some of these horrible, horrible events like the Holocaust. But the danger, I suppose, is not just the people who commit these crimes but the acquiescence, the silence -


DAVID FROST: - that's, that's the most common universal problem isn't it?

JONATHAN SACKS: Yes One of the great Holocaust historians said for him three commandments come out of Auschwitz. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator; thou shalt not be a victim; but also thou shalt not be a bystander. And I think when you get that message through, to young people, of where prejudice and hatred can lead, if it becomes mainstream politics and then systematic genocide, then you train young people to stand up and fight for decency, tolerance and coexistence.

DAVID FROST: And will this now definitely be an annual event in the calendar?

JONATHAN SACKS: That is the commitment of the government, as it has been the commitment of many governments throughout Europe - we had 44 governments together last year in Stockholm making that commitment. So I think it's right because countries that don't face up to these issues are always liable to - God forbid - repeat them.

DAVID FROST: Thank you very much for being here, there is lots more to talk to you about on another occasion but we wanted to mark this particular occasion.


DAVID FROST: Chief Rabbi, thank you very much. Thank you again.

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