Photo Credit: BBC

Originally published at Honest Reporting.

January 27 is International Holocaust Memorial Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. With this in mind and the aftermath of the Paris terror attack on a kosher supermarket, there has been a great deal of discussion and commemoration in the media.

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But could the BBC have asked a more crass, insensitive and downright offensive question on Twitter?

— The Big Questions (@bbcbigquestions) January 25, 2015

This was the question asked on The Big Questions, a BBC debate show on moral, ethical and religious issues. However, irrespective of the quality of the debate on the show itself, the tweet needs to be seen in isolation because many of those who saw it on Twitter would not have seen it in a larger context.

And how inappropriate for the BBC to even be debating the topic with such a question precisely during the buildup to events commemorating the biggest crime in modern history.

Perhaps the question may have related to a poll that found that some 58 percent of Germans say the past should be consigned to history in reference to the Holocaust. This, however, does nothing to excuse the BBC from raising the issue in such a format that lacks any relevant context to such a sensitive topic.

In addition, a TV debate or discussion is a controlled environment with a moderator as is the case on The Big Questions. Twitter, in comparison, is a virtual jungle where the only moderating influences are those of other tweeters.

The BBC has proudly publicized its comprehensive coverage of Holocaust Memorial Day, drawing attention to a wide range of programming. This included The Big Questions on the BBC’s media release which stated:

A one-hour special Big Questions on BBC One will look at the anniversary and the issues involved from never forgetting, to man’s inhumanity. It will also ask: could something like this happen again? 

How did the original question, “could something like this happen again?” and the stated emphasis of the program change so drastically? That it has indicates something insidious within the BBC.

Undoubtedly, had the BBC’s media release published in October 2014 included the question that ultimately was asked, those figures involved in Holocaust remembrance would have raised the alarm.

In light of this and Tim Willcox’s appalling questions to the child of a Holocaust survivor, it seems that insensitivity is something that the BBC is getting rather good at.

HR Managing Editor Simon Plosker adds:

What or who exactly does the BBC want to lay to rest? Holocaust survivors? The memory of six million Jewish victims of Nazi genocide? The BBC evidently has no moral compass when it comes to Jews or Israel. Why should this even be up for debate and why is it only issues of immense importance to Jews that the BBC is prepared to ride roughshod over?

The BBC originally asked could something like the Holocaust happen again. Asking whether people should forget about the Holocaust could very well increase the possibility of it happening again.

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106 COMMENTS

  1. I think that most people are not jews theirfore its easy to forget but keep in mind that many difrent people live in societies that dont want them like Mxicans in the USA who I know several groups who would enjoy doing the same like Fox news.

  2. We should put the first Holocaust to bed. We should prepare for the 2nd Holocaust – Iran with the nuclear bomb aimed at Israel. "The good news", if that happens, the world won't have to worry about Jews anymore. Then the rest of the world will go back to killing each other. Then there will be no one left to ask," Is it time to lay the Holocaust to rest".

  3. The Sun has set on the British Empire. The problem is that they and the BBC do not understand that fact. Folks… keep bringing in those "good" Muslims and watch what happens…. money in the bank…. death, terror, destruction, and bad times to come. Surely as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West….

  4. Never be surprised by the BBC in any shape when it comes to Israel, Jews, Holocaust, they are usually always very negative, to now regard the BBC as being impartial, is a sad mistake, they are staffed by Left Wing University graduates, who have never done a decent days work in their lives, but support an anti Israel agenda.

  5. Jews? Never forget what? BBC just put us to rest…in peace
    Funny, isn't it? America was going to attack Russia if they put bombs in Cuba, 90 miles away from the USA. Since Iran owns Lebanon, how far will the Iranian nukes be from Israel, and does the world care? We need to come up with a better name than Holocaust #2…any suggestions?

  6. Obviously the person who brought this question up, did not watch the programme on Saturday night on Channell 4, " Holocaust ; Night Will Fall" No one could watch this documentary on the liberation of the concentration camps and then suggest that the Holocaust should be laid to rest! Even the photographers who are still alive were still in tears remembering all that they witnessed. I hope that this ignorant person has been given their marching cards!

  7. This is exactly what the anti-Israel reporters want. Forget the Holocaust. Just remember, those that forget history, are doomed to repeat it's mistakes. People are forgetting the Holocaust, some even saying it never happened. And look what is happening. ISIS is wiping out thousands of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. You see, it is not just Jews that are hated. There are those that hate everyone except themselves and will cause a much larger Holocaust if allowed to. Like Hitler was allowed to kill Jews, ISIS is being allowed to kill everyone who is not like them. This is a world wide holocaust in the making and because so many have forgotten the Nazi holocaust, history is being repeated on a much broader scale. What a shame. I will never forget.

  8. The BBC should be ashamed of themselves, but I doubt that they will be. They have proved time and time again that they are anti-semites. As a Brit I am disgusted by their attitude, and I can only apologise and say that I, and thousands of others do not share their views.

  9. the bbc never fails to amaze me. they feast on their anti jewish anti and Israel stories..they fail to report on the the problems the uk faces from the rise of immigration from the former british empire the enclaves carved out by the muslim radicals imposing sharia law etc..

  10. How is that possible-People always learn from history, to not make the same mistakes again…By laying Holocaust to rest, is like silencing the voice of over 6 million people who never had the chance to have their voices heard. This can never be forgoton, this is a atrocity that has to be a constant reminder to Humanity, A reminder that Men are capable of commiting unspeakable atrocity’s , thus by exposing past atrocities and teaching the new Generation, we seek to end any possible future atrocities. In my opinion those who want to lay the Holocaust to rest will be the cause of future atrocities.

  11. I have watched programmes on British TV this week about the Holocaust. It has been sensitive, sympathetic, desperately sad and utterly respectful. The programme currently on BBC 2 is called 'Touched by Auschwitz' and it has spoken about great bravery, about desperate cruelty and I feel that it has achieved the aim of keeping alive things that we should all remember.
    I was so sorry to read that an offensive tweet went out – it should not have been allowed.

  12. I think there's much more to it than thinking this means they want the memory of it to just go away. I don't believe it's antisemetic. Do I agree that it should be laid to rest as in forgotten? No. But if you take some time to think about it, there's a reason this is said, not just about the Holocaust but about pretty much every past major catastrophe that's hit the planet from wars to natural disasters to, anything. I could explain but all I'll say for now is before one jumps on the hate bandwagon and argue against their point they must first try to understand where it is coming from and why. On the other hand, for this to be mentioned today of all days is extremely disrespectful and a slap in the face of jews everywhere, with that I can definitely empathize.

  13. This is typical old British anti-Semitism. For more than 2000 years, the world that calls itself "Christian" has tormented, persecuted and murdered us for something that we did NOT do more than 2000 years ago. The Romans were the occupiers; they killed Jesus Christ. All historical evidence points exactly to this – and to the fact that Jesus was no Messiah, but a fine Jewish man who wanted his country restored to God and taken back from the Roman pagan persecutors. So, for all this time the world has hated and persecuted us, practically non-stop, for something we did NOT do. The Shoah ended 70 years ago (less than that in Poland where Jews continued to be slaughtered until 1947
    by local Poles) – and people suggest FORGETTING it?

    The BBC reflects the genuine attitude of England: Hatred of Jews. If anyone feels like some reading, just as a reminder of how the Brits really regard us, do read "The Mauritian Shekel" by Genevieve Pitot (non-fiction) and "Exodus" by Leon Uris (fiction, well researched and based on fact). And have a look at some of the nasty things said about us by Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thomson and others – and these are only the public statements. It is easy to figure out what they say about us in private.

  14. If they, the gentiles, could persecute and torment and murder us for 2000 years, for something we did not do, then those same gentiles should consider themselves very lucky that they were not punished at all for the 6 million or more Jews in whose murder they collaborated just 70 years ago.

  15. It's true, Eduardo, that many different people live in societies that don't want them. That is horrible and sad, yes, but there are not usually hate & libel campaigns against them, restrictions on their citizenship or where and how they can live and earn money, or pogroms slaughtering hundreds or millions. The Jewish people of the world have had hate campaigns directed against them by pagans and gentiles for about 3000 years in total, capped by the annihilation of almost all Europe's Jews, and now the lying, deceitful campaigns against Israel.

    Perhaps you should think harder and learn to write English before trying again to comment?

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