Sunday, January 27, 2013

Jersey's hollow Holocaust Memorial Day - 2013

98,000 Jersey residents failed to turn out for this year's Holocaust Memorial Day.
Mostly the small usual crowd did.
I bumped into a friend there with his mother. Her father (his grandfather) was one of the 22  sent from Jersey in the 1940s to a cruel end in the death camps for some trifling offence.
Of course this family has a personal reason to remember a lost relative but why do the vast majority of Jersey residents show such little interest?
Furthermore,  why is our governemt still dragging its feet when it comes to signing the most basic international human rights standards and  has still not actually implememnted anti-discrimination laws as promised by Chief Minister Ian Gorst one year ago, at last year's Memorial Day.

See that interview, along with similar interviews on this blog for previous years during the relevant January
Sorry, but I still do not do links....

Jersey's official attitude towards anti-discrimination laws is a disgrace. The Channel Islands were the  only area of the British Isles to be occupied during the Second World War so have a special reason to lead the way on implementing the highest human rights standards. Yet Jersey is going in the opposite direction with ever more discriminatory anti-immigrant rules and regulations on work and housing etc being currentlyapproved or contemplated.
Tragically, these absurd laws are to be exempted from challenge as discriminatory because they are introduced by the government!

Yes - I know - the wind gets into the camcorder and spoils the sound on these recordings. It's the winter weather and I have only a simple machine and limited ability - but try to live with it. You won't hear or see this stuff elsewhere.

I declined to interview Brian Keenan - this year's special celebrity speaker - for several reasons. Notably that the official sound system was so bad and he spoke so quietly, that I was unable to hear what he had said. This was a pity but I am also concerned that Jersey's Memorial Day is being turned into yet another "official event", dominated by the usual government crowd and promoting the same unchallenging views, year after year.

If anything warrants challenge - then it  surely is "holocaust" - and the millions of people who allowed it in the past,  continue to allow it now and will fail to stop it happening in future.

I mean of course you and me and our governmental institutions.

Doug Ford follows here in my second part of today's posting on the Holocaust Day's proceedings.
He has an educational role at the Jersey Heritage Trust and is a really nice bloke - but  is surely missing the point here...

Of course, I am linking Holocaust Day to Jersey Reform Day which is to be celebrated officially for the very first time this year on 28 September. This is a belated response to Jersey's very own revolution against the despotic government of the 18th cnetury - and should be full of human rights lessons - but Doug Ford seems to dismiss it as unimportant or not well enough understood or researched....

Such revolutions are the very breeding grounds for holocausts along with xenophobia and the blame levelled at minority groups for the ills of society.

Ignorance and apathy applies as much to the events of the Second World War as they do to the fight for democratic government in Jersey over 200 hundred years ago...

And finally I present the Dean of Jersey Bob Key and would contrast him with Canon Cohu referred to in his own address today. The Canon protested during the Occuptaion and became another of the brave  Jersey 22 who perished in the death camps.
The Dean spoke at a ceremony on  16 January 2013 to re-consecrate the memorial in Green Street cemetary to St. Helier's 19th century Constable Pierre Le Sueur (see the posting on this blog) and his words then are relevant today regarding holocausts past, present and future and what WE should  ALL be doing about them...

But,  I may be a romantic idealist because I don't believe that the argument needs martyrs (crucified or otherwise) to prove the point or that we should appear once a year on a cold windy day, just to remember - for a few minutes - those who have suffered so much. We really should be actively doing much much more on a daily basis...

The final image is of "our government and officials" laying their wreaths at today's Holocaust Memorial ceremony whilst so resolutely turning their backs against the call for proper democratic instutions with human rights embraced and promoted with enthusiasm for ALL.

Sorry again about the wind nuisance - but if you cannot overcome that  mild irritant to understand what is being said here, then there is nothing more I can do about it...


  1. I didn't attend because I don't normally attend ceremonies of this nature. It doesn't mean I don't care or that anyone who doesn't attend doesn't care.

    When I was a young child poking about in my aunt's sideboard at the age of between 7 or 8yrs old I came across a rather sad and poignant scrapbook which contained many of the press cuttings from newspapers specifically about the Holocaust. It opened a whole new experience for me that I had never fully understood before and that is 'Man's inhumanity to man'

    On realising what I had stumbled across my aunt then proceeded to explain about the newscuttings and from that day on I realised that racism was bad. At that age I had no idea what a Jew was or why they should have been victimised in such a way and didn't carry the baggage of an adult and of pre-concieved ideas about religion and who is right or who is wrong.

    As an adult I see grey as well and black and white but no one should be exterminated in the name of religion or perfection.


  2. As somebody who had relatives in concentration camps, I find your linking of the holocaust to 'Jersey reform day' extremely offensive.

    Maybe if the Island's self-appointed 'progressives' didn't try and link everything to their petty personal obsessions we wouldn't be in the place we are now. The majority of people couldn't care less about 'Jersey Reform Day'.

    1. As somebody who had relatives in the work camps (okay, not quite concentration camps, but still pretty bad), I find your offense offensive.

      Genocides don't happen in democracies with human rights and equal rights for all citizens. That is what Jersey Reform Day is all about.

      The "progressives" aren't running Jersey, I think you'll find that's another bunch that actually have put Jersey into the position we are in now. The fact you would make such an idiotically illogical and pathetic political point score and try and use your heritage to justify that is utterly contemptible.

    2. Oh yes, couldn't agree more. Jersey is standing on the precipice of genocidal disaster, and only a few brave politicians, courageous bloggers and other noble souls can save us... filling the air with their childish squabbles, refusing to work together on anything, breaking the law, helping their voters break the law, massaging their own egos and accomplishing EXACTLY NOTHING.

      With the opposition we've got, there's no need for the elites to worry. Not a single proposition of any substance will get approved. Nice work lads, keep it up.

      Yours sincerely, an oligarch.

  3. It is very interesting that Jersey has chosen to celebrate Holocaust Day in this way because none of the Jersey 22 were Jewish (three Jewish people from Guernsey died I believe).

    Has Jersey really faced up to its own legacy of collaboration? If it had, then there would be an anti-discrimination law. If it had, it would confront the legacy of the Jersey 22. At least one died in prison of neglect because he was turned in to the Germans by the Jersey authorities. And he a veteran of World War One, with two sons in the second world war at the time.By all accounts, decent Jersey citizens were calling for appropriate recriminations against collaborators in 1945 to 1946. This never happened, partly the fault of the Labour government. But I sense a lack of complete honesty in the interviews on Holocaust Memorial Day. If there was collaboration, accept it,and get over it. Then Jersey can move on. or else it is well, Japan.

  4. Can I just correct you? I do not think any of the Jersey 22 perished in "Death camps". Concentration Camps maybe. My grandfather, one of the 22, Frederick William Page aka. White died of neglect and "ill treatment" in Naumburg prison. Others were released and then disappeared, such as Joseph Tierney. Just a correction, that is all.