auschwitz
A picture taken in January 1945 shows Auschwitz concentration camp gate and railways after its liberation by Soviet troopsGetty

If only the Holocaust deniers were right.

If only the Jews weren't driven from their homes across occupied Europe, as baying mobs smashed and stole and abused.

If only they weren't rounded up like cattle and trapped in ghettos without enough food, water or clothing, forced to wear the yellow Star of David to mark them as outsiders.

If only there weren't harrowing galleries of photos from inside the Nazi camps, with bodies huddled shivering behind the barbed wire fences.

If only there were no films of skeletal corpses shovelled into pits by the digger-load, or half-alive starving children scrabbling in the filth for food.

If only Dr Mengele hadn't done his warped work.

Dachau bodies
Bodies lie on the ground at the Nazi's Dachau concentration camp.Getty

If only there were no documents meticulously kept by the Nazi officers who orchestrated the genocide with such cold precision, as they processed people through the gas chambers.

If only they weren't still unearthing mass graves, like the one at Treblinka.

If only six million Jews hadn't been killed in the Nazi's death camps all those years ago, and five million more from gypsies to communists to the disabled.

If only the survivors, their prisoner numbers scarred onto their skin as physical memories, didn't have to tell the world what they went through in the hope it never happens again.

If only we didn't have to know the names Auschwitz, Dachau, Sobibor, Belsen.

If only we didn't need the Nuremberg Trials to bring the Nazis to justice for what they had done.

If only the Holocaust hadn't happened. But it did. And nobody should deny that fact.

Naomi Blake
Sculpture by Auschwitz survivor Naomi BlakeNaomi Blake/Portsmouth Cathedral