The Federal government has promised $3.5 million in funding for a new Holocaust museum in Brisbane.
The museum will honour the six million Jews and 5 million other minorities murdered in the Holocaust by delivering educational programs about the Holocaust and other genocides.
Speaking today at a press conference in Brisbane, Holocaust survivor Peter Baruch shared his story of when he fled Nazi persecution in Poland with his parents, at 18 months old.
The rest of his family was murdered.
“I wish there was no necessity for Holocaust museums but regrettably the Holocaust did occur and many millions were needlessly murdered for their ethnicity,” he said.
“Today there are not many survivors left. Let’s face it the Holocaust was 75-80 years ago and those left are becoming too elderly to transmit their stories.
“The need for education is greater today than ever. It’s so important that we must fight anti-Semitism, discrimination, prejudice, intolerance and hate and education is the key.
“The lessons of the Holocaust mustn’t be forgotten.”
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the Holocaust Museum would allow students, teachers and adults to understand and study the Holocaust and hear eyewitness accounts from survivors.
“It is critical that people of all ages, and particularly our young people, learn about this dark period in world history,” Mr Tehan said.
“The Holocaust Museum will allow for the collection and preservation of historic objects relating to the Holocaust, and highlight the impact of racism in a historical and current context.
Senator for Queensland Amanda Stoker said the Museum would add to community harmony, strengthening multicultural ties in Queensland.
“It is said that those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it. With this investment, the Morrison Government is making sure the horror of the Holocaust never happens again,” Senator Stoker said.
Queensland Board of Deputies Vice-President Jason Steinberg said it’s important to educate everyone, no matter how old, or what their political views are about how hatred can spiral out of control.
“Incidents of anti-Semitism and racial vilification are growing in Queensland, with right-wing extremist groups targeting our communities with their hate-filled messages,” Mr Steinberg said.
“One antidote to this kind of hate is to educate people about the devastation caused by the world’s most evil, racially motivated campaign,” he said.
“We appreciate the commitment from Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Minister for Education Daniel Tehan, and Senator Amanda Stoker for their support for today’s announcement to establish the museum in Queensland.
“At its core, the museum will help to empower individuals to stand up against hatred and prejudice, with the aim of preventing such violence and marginalisation from happening again.”
He said research out in the US this month shows, knowledge of the Holocaust is shocking with 23 per cent of adults aged between 18-39 believing the Holocaust was a myth, had been exaggerated or weren’t sure.
The government will spend the next few months deciding where the museum will go, with Brisbane CBD or Southbank touted as possible locations.
Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth already have Holocaust museums and the Australian War Memorial in Canberra has a permanent Holocaust display.