£144,000 for Holocaust visits

A NEW government fund worth £144,126 has been set up to enable 200 university and higher education students a year to visit concentration camps.

Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid said that the idea behind extending the funding was, in part, to help tackle antisemitism on campus.

He added that his ministry, together with the Department for Education, will fund the new strand of the Lessons from Auschwitz programme based on a proposal by the Holocaust Education Trust and the Union of Jewish Students.

The programme will invite two Sabbatical Officers from each university to visit the death camps, while Vice-Chancellors will also be encouraged to take part. The 200 students on the visits will then lead campus seminars on the Shoah and on tackling antisemitism, which it is hoped will reach up to 7,500 students on campuses each year.

Mr Javid described his first visit to Auschwitz in 2011 as “one of the most moving experiences of my life”.

He continued: “Of course, Holocaust education is not the only answer, but it remains one of the most powerful tools we have to fight bigotry today.”

Union of Jewish Students president Josh Holt welcomed the initiative, pointing out that the extra resources would enable a “substantial expansion” of student and university leaders receiving the education and training needed to combat antisemitism and prejudice on campus.

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