All Holocaust records in the UK to be available to research and study

The UK is also urging other countries worldwide to release records relevant to the Holocaust that are not yet publicly available.

 The entrance of Auschwitz-Birkenau (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
The entrance of Auschwitz-Birkenau
(photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)

The UK government announced on Thursday, to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, that all its records relating to the Holocaust will be available to study and research to the general public.

Such records include books that were stolen by Nazis, such as the St. Lambrecht collection, with 787 published works dating from the late 16th century up to 1943.

The UK is also urging other countries worldwide to release records relevant to the Holocaust that are not yet publically available.

Last November, it was reported in a UK poll that more than half of Britons did not know how many Jews died in the Holocaust and 22% were unable to name a concentration camp.

Also last November, Nadhim Zahawi, the UK Secretary of State for Education, told the Jewish Chronicle that he believes every student in Britain should travel to see the Auschwitz concentration camp. Zahawi made these statements shortly after he returned from a tour of the Auschwitz Memorial in Oswiecim, Poland.

 Gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau  (credit: VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS) Gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau (credit: VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Regarding the recent decision to allow all UK Holocaust records to be available, Lord Pickles, the UK Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues, stated that he is "grateful for the full and friendly cooperation of the governments of Guernsey and Jersey," for their decision to make their Holocaust records publicly available as well.

Dr. Toby Simpson, Director of the Wiener Holocaust Library, stated that "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."

Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA contributed to this report.