UK to make all Holocaust records public for research and study

UK to make all Holocaust records public for research and study

The UK government have announced plans to make all of its records relating to the Holocaust open to the public for research and study purposes.

It was announced today (27 January), to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

This landmark move includes the collection of 787 books in the St. Lambrecht collection, a series of published works dating back to the 16th century to 1943, which were looted and hidden by the Nazis during World War Two.

It is the first time that this historic collection of books about history, law, theology and various scientific works will be made public.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) – who are lighting up their buildings purple to mark Memorial Day – have plans to move them to London’s Wiener Holocaust Library, subject to legal agreement.

Guernsey and Jersey governments have also agreed to make their records available to the public, alongside the UK.

The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues, Lord Pickles, said: “I am grateful for the full and friendly cooperation of the governments of Guernsey and Jersey.

“I also thank the diligence of the FCDO staff for their recent work on the St. Lambrecht historic book collection.

“There can be no better place to keep the collection than the Wiener Holocaust Library,” he added.

The government are urging other nations of the world to follow in their footsteps and make their Holocaust records public.

A government spokesperson added: “In an age where some deny or distort the Holocaust it is important to make documents of the era as freely available as possible.”

Dr Toby Simpson, director of the Wiener Holocaust Library – one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust, the Nazi era and genocide – applauded the government for the move.

“We applaud the British government’s recent efforts to improve access to vital records, and look forward to future cooperation,” he said.

“The Wiener Library is proud of its long history of throwing light on the darkest chapters of history, and on the Holocaust in particular. It is crucial to ensure that the past is not ignored or locked away, but confronted and used as a tool for building a better future,” Dr Simpson added.

The UK’s ceremony of remembrance begins at 7pm, with people urged to participate by lighting a candle and placing it by their window at 8pm.

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