View from the House - MP Lee Scott on Holocaust Memorial Day and the fight against anti-Semitism

Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North

Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North - Credit: Archant

Last week I spoke in the debate in the Commons to acknowledge Holocaust Memorial Day and to recognise its importance. I congratulated Alistair Burt MP for not only securing the debate but on the moving and compassionate way in which he spoke.

I paid tribute to Karen Pollock and the Holocaust Educational Trust. I have been to Auschwitz and other massacre sites. I have seen where man’s inhumanity toward man can lead and to say that I was emotionally touched would be an understatement.

If it had not been indirectly for the Holocaust, I would have by been called Lee Shulberg. My late father changed his surname because being caught while fighting in the Second World War with a Jewish surname was the difference between going to a prisoner of war camp or a concentration camp. The family kept the name after the war. I am proud to be British, proud to be an MP and proud to be Jewish. I am immensely grateful to Great Britain for taking in my grandparents, because without any question, lacking this sanctuary I would not be here today.

Anti-Semitism has not gone away. At the last general election I was approached by some people while out campaigning and called a “dirty Jew”.

I was told they wished to kill me and I still receive anti-Semitic emails on a regular basis.

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There are times when I ask myself has anyone learned anything from history?

Sometimes I fear not. When we look at genocides that have been perpetrated across the world, some of which are still happening, it must give us all pause for thought.

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