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September 9, 2022 1:37 pm

Australian Lawmakers Call For Holocaust Education

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

The skyline of Melbourne, Australia, the capital of Victoria. Photo: Alex Proimos/Wikimedia Commons.

An Australian parliamentarian has proposed a motion to require students throughout the commonwealth to be educated about the Holocaust.

Labor Party MP Josh Burns proposed the measure on September 5. According to The Australian Jewish News, it was co-sponsored by MPs from several parties.

The motion denounces antisemitism, including Holocaust denial and equating covid restrictions with anti-Jewish legislation in Nazi Germany, and implores “all states and territories to follow the lead of Victoria and New South Wales and make Holocaust education a mandatory aspect of their school curriculum.”

Holocaust education became mandatory in Victoria in 2020 after the state’s education minister James Merlino set out to address bigotry in its schools.

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During a speech on the motion, its co-sponsor Labor MP Mark Dreyfus noted that the Holocaust “is only recent history.”

“I acknowledge that there are other members in this place, on both sides of the chamber, who, like me, owe their lives to the fact that one or more of their family members managed to escape the Nazis and find refuge in Australia,” he said.

“Antisemitism is on the rise around the globe, and sadly we’re not immune from it in our own Victorian community,” Dreyfus added an Australian ABC affiliate that February. “Most kids today wouldn’t be able to explain what the Holocaust was, and I think it’s vital that each generation understands the horror of the Holocaust to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

Burns’ remarks, AJN said, were in memory of his recently deceased grandmother who emigrated from Germany to Australia just one week before the Kristallnacht.

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