On 20th August 2009, Ed Husain, along with three members of the Quilliam team, visited the first and only Holocaust Memorial Centre in the UK. Manni Barrot was their host and guide for the day and Quilliam had the honour of meeting the centre’s CEO Dr James Smith.
The centre was set up by brothers James and Stephen Smith in an attempt to remember the tragedy of the Holocaust and educate future generations about the dangers of powerful, extremist ideas and their ramifications on society.
Originally a farmhouse, the centre allows visitors to experience pre-Nazi life in Germany complete with the smell of Friday afternoon chicken soup. The atmosphere then becomes more and more sinister as they are taken through reconstructions of actual events and places, like the Warsaw ghetto, suffered by innocent Jews both young and old. Great pains have been taken to ensure that the experience is as interactive as possible and a significant emphasis is placed on the fact that genocide is still unleashed on innocent humans the world over.
For all at the centre, the atrocities committed in places such as Rwanda and Darfur shows that we have not learned the lessons of the Holocaust.