To mark Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January, Steve Maltz from Saltshakers – a Christian ministry witnessing to the Jewish roots of the Christian faith – shares his thoughts about why this day is more important than ever in light of current events

This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is perhaps like none other since the UK government cemented it into the national calendar in 2001. And the reason for that is, ironically, the firmest evidence for the need for it. 

“Never Again” was the slogan adopted by a shocked world in the 1940s, when the enormity of the Nazi genocide of the Jews and others finally sunk in. It was first mouthed by survivors of Buchenwald concentration camp and the formation of the State of Israel brought a perceived solution to this longing. From now on the Jewish people, the most reviled and persecuted human group in history, were going to have a safe haven, when “never again” could surely become a reality. This held true…until October 7th 2023.

A vulnerable minority

Massacres of Jewish populations have been a feature of history from biblical times, through the ’Christian’ era and giving rise to the eastern European pogroms in the 19th Century. A pogrom is unique to Jews, as if they deserve ownership of such suffering. Believe it or not there was even one in Poland in 1946 of Holocaust survivors after the war

Jews have never been safe when they have been a vulnerable minority, so when their ancestral home was officially made available to them in 1947 by the United Nations, an area comprising just 0.1 per cent of the land mass in the Middle East, it seemed a simple and logical solution, even if it warranted population movement and created a refugee situation, something that has been a feature of human society for thousands of years and not just unique to the Palestinians. 

In fact, more Jews in Arab lands were ejected from their family homes in 1948 than Palestinian Arabs in what was then ‘Palestine’. The Jews were re-located by their fellow ’religionists’ and integrated into communities throughout the world, not just Israel. Palestinians were treated far less compassionately by their people.


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In 1948 when the Nation of Israel was birthed, their neighbours immediately invaded and, since then, have rattled sabres and threatened them continuously with death and destruction. For “never again” to become a reality, the Israelis had to learn to defend themselves, by building a formidable army and an effective intelligence network. Citizens were obliged to spend two to three years of their life learning how to defend their families and their country. 

Israel’s national emblem features olive branches, symbolising peace. Their national anthem, Hatikvah, speaks of the hope for freedom. Contrary to popular propaganda, Israelis, like any other civilised people, just want to live in peace. By contrast, the Hamas flag features crossed swords (that of Hezbollah features an assault rifle) and its national anthem speaks of a martyred warrior. With such asymmetry, how could there realistically be peace unless there is a major change in attitude?

The persistent myth of “never again” was shattered on October 7th 2023, when Hamas terrorists invaded southern Israel, killing around 1,200 innocent civilians with horrific brutality and taking around 250 hostages, many who have since lost their lives. 

Memories of past pogroms shattered the myth of Israeli self-preservation and this has convinced them that the only way now to ensure “never again” is to hit Hamas so hard that “repeat performances” would be impossible. 

For the Israeli leadership, the only path to eventual peace is to cut out the infection completely…whatever the consequences.


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The need for education

Why is this current Holocaust Memorial Day so different? In a recent poll, more than two thirds of young Americans (18-24 year olds) believe that Jews are oppressors and should be treated as such. This attitude has been cultivated by adverse propaganda they have consumed mainly through TikTok and other social media, rather than a considered attitude of trying to understand the conflict objectively. 

So, assuming the situation is similar in the UK, how can you expect them to respect a day to commemorate the historic Holocaust of the very people they see as aggressors and oppressors? And this is where the irony kicks in. What they really need is education, which is the real point of Holocaust Memorial Day. 

People need to understand that, in a sinister re-run of the horrors of Nazi Germany, a focused group of brainwashed terrorists have attacked innocents in their own homes, mutilating, raping and savagely murdering without mercy, then tearing others away from their families and dragging them into captivity, to an uncertain fate. What would you do if your family, loved ones or fellow countrymen suffered the same fate? Would you not do all you can to rescue the hostages and ensure it doesn’t happen again, particularly when the terrorist group has publicly declared that they would repeat their actions until they have achieved the complete destruction of your people?

Peace and justice

Where do you sit with this? I implore you to investigate the facts yourself, rather than being spoon-fed by an algorithm. I created a facility on the web at that can help. 

Where does God sit with this? Even discounting the biblical promises made regarding the Jewish people (Jeremiah 31:35-37 for example) and focusing on the subject of peace and justice (something often applied to the Palestinians but rarely to the Israelis), how could any people act in any other way against a group of people who have no desire other than to annihilate them?

That’s where the Nazis were in 1939-1945. That’s why we have Holocaust Memorial Days. That’s why “never again” really must be NEVER AGAIN!


Steve Maltz is a writer, speaker and blogger. He has written over 30 books, runs the Saltshakers website and Foundations conferences and created the award-winning Saffron Planet web radio app.