Just 60 years since this sickening place was closed. It’s within living memory. I felt that sense of immediacy today, reading about the memorial ceremony being held to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops.

It’s chilling, when you remember the scale of the genocide in this and other camps, and the fact that there are living people in this country (and, of course, worldwide) who still bear the physical and psychological marks of their ordeal. Not to mention the painful memory of lost families, friends and loved ones. In the bigger picture of world history, these incomprehensible, inhuman events happened just the other day.

The Independent today has an excellent article about the Holocaust, including some survivor stories.

Let’s also remember that Hitler was elected democratically. Democracy is not an automatic protection against abuse of power. If ever there was a reminder that we need to keep our governments in check and speak out when we disagree with them, it is Nazism.

We must never forget.