Prince Charles: 'lessons of the Holocaust are searingly relevant to this day'

23 January 2020, 07:19

Prince Charles will meet Holocaust survivors ahead of his address
Prince Charles will meet Holocaust survivors ahead of his address. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Prince of Wales is set to warn that "hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart" as he marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The Prince is in Israel to mark the event and will deliver an address to the World Holocaust Forum where he is expected to say "language is used which turns disagreement into dehumanisation" and society must remain "resolute in resisting words and acts of violence".

The event is taking place at the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, where guests are expected to include US Vice President Mike Pence, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Charles will say in his speech: "The lessons of the Holocaust are searingly relevant to this day. Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart, still tell new lies, adopt new disguises, and still seek new victims.

"All too often, language is used which turns disagreement into dehumanisation. Words are used as badges of shame to mark others as enemies, to brand those who are different as somehow deviant.

"All too often, virtue seems to be sought through verbal violence. All too often, real violence ensues, and acts of unspeakable cruelty are still perpetrated around the world against people for reasons of their religion, their race or their beliefs.

"Knowing, as we do, the darkness to which such behaviour leads, we must be vigilant in discerning these ever-changing threats; we must be fearless in confronting falsehoods and resolute in resisting words and acts of violence. And we must never rest in seeking to create mutual understanding and respect."

During his first day in the Holy Land, the prince will also meet Holocaust survivors and be joined by the UK's Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis.

While in the Middle East, Charles is also likely to pay his respects at the resting place of his grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, in Jerusalem's Church of St Mary Magdalene.

She was honoured by the Jewish people for hiding and saving the lives of Jews in Nazi-occupied Athens during the Second World War.

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