Recalling the horrors witnessed at Auschwitz

Not for the first time, a visit to Poland has triggered an article. Many years ago, whilst Poland was still within the awful grip of the Soviet Union, my biennial family visit to Poland allowed a visit to the mountains located in the South of the country.

Friday, 31st August 2018, 12:00 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:17 pm
Cllr Tony Janio, leader of the Conservatives on Brighton and Hove City Council

One excursion took us to the town of Oświęcim. Here we joined a tour around what appeared to be a small disused factory. No ordinary factory, it soon became clear that the exhibits consisted of former possessions and, sickeningly, extracted bodily parts from thousands of human beings. Oświęcim is the Polish name for Auschwitz. We were soon led towards the ovens, where tens of thousands of Jews and Poles had been incinerated. Then, disturbingly for a young teenager, we were led into a chamber where the lethal ‘Zykoln B’ gas had been fed into those waiting to die.

Told that the naked corpses were found compressed into a tight human pyramid, it was difficult to imagine the horror that had befallen those murdered as part of the Nazis plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe.

Back in Brighton and Hove, several weeks ago the Conservatives insisted that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, and the examples of breaches, should be published in full by the council.To my knowledge, this has still not been actioned.

It is now clear why The Labour Party nationally cannot publish in full: reports indicate that it would render many of the Labour leadership team, who have broken the code over the years, anti-Semites.

I believe that many decent local Labour Members would like to stand up against the hard-left who are stalling publication and, following my example of criticising my own national leadership where it is warranted, they should now publish the IHRA definition, and all of the examples, immediately. To further delay publication, and use pitiful excuses as to why they are unable to do this, would bring further shame on them. Labour members: now is the time to stand up and fight for what you believe to be right - publish today.

Councillor Tony Janio is the Leader of the Conservative Group on Brighton & Hove City Council