Wednesday, June 30, 1999 Published at 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
Call for Holocaust day
Auschwitz: Death camp is focus of proposed remembrance day
A Labour MP is calling on the government to remember the victims of Hitler's genocide by instituting a national Holocaust day.
Andrew Dismore, MP for Hendon in north-west London, will propose the move to MPs in the Commons on Wednesday.
Mr Dismore will suggest as Holocaust Remembrance Day the Monday closest to 27 January - the day the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz, near Krakow, in Poland, was liberated.
"The need to commemorate the Holocaust applies in Britain as much as anywhere ... we need a Holocaust Remembrance Day to provide a national focus for promoting a democratic, tolerant, respectful society," said Mr Dismore.
The UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has spoken of the contemporary relevance of such a day in the view of crimes against humanity in Kosovo.
Mr Dismore's campaign has already secured agreement from the government to consider the issue.
A similar proposal formed part of the UK's submission to an international conference on the issue of art and other assets seized by the Nazis, in Washington last December.
The Foreign Office said at the time it was looking at ways to ensure the Holocaust is remembered after the issue of compensation had been settled.
If there is popular support for the move, it is being suggested that the day could be marked by a minute's silence throughout the country.
Victims 'not forgotten'
Six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, as well as hundreds of thousands of gypsies, homosexuals, disabled people and German Chancellor Adolf Hitler's political opponents.
Before the Washington conference, a task force was set up of experts from Britain, Israel, Sweden, Germany and the United States, to look into ways to ensure Holocaust victims are not forgotton.
The anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz is already commemorated in a number of other countries.
Architect Daniel Libeskind, who designed the Holocaust Museum in Berlin, is to design the UK's counterpart, which will be in Manchester.
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