shows, holocaust, migrants rights, Never Again Ever
A demonstration for migrants rights drew parallels between Holocaust victims and refugees stranded in CalaisNever Again Ever!

A group of demonstrators have gathered outside the Home Office to commemorate the end of Nazi Holocaust and demand more rights for migrants.

Never Again Ever!, whose protest on 25 January saw collections of shoes piled up outside the Marsham Street premises, drew parallels with victims of the holocaust and refugees stranded in Calais.

It included a speech from Nazi Holocaust survivor Ruth Barnett, who questioned what had changed since she arrived via Kindertransport that has seen children languishing in the Calais 'jungle'.

The 77-year-old said: "Refugees would not have come to Europe if we had opened our eyes, minds and hearts to help them preserve their homes and culture many years ago when violence began.

"They had to come because we failed them then. Now they are here, we must not fail them again. They deserve to have their immediate needs met with compassion and kindness while we process their applications for asylum until their homes are safe to return to.

"If we treat them with respect and they wish to stay they will contribute riches to our culture as waves of refugees have done previously. If we treat them with hostility and contempt - we will have problems instead of the riches they might give us."

A banner unveiled outside the Home Office read: 'Holocaust Memorial Day Vigil 2016 – No more migrant deaths. Refugees are welcome here!'

The aim of the protest was to encourage the Home Office and the prime minister to act immediately to uphold the terms of the August 2015 agreement between the British and French governments to help alleviate the refugee crisis.

One of the organisers, Dan Glass, told IBTimes UK: "We are saying there can't be memorialisation without action.

"This is about migrant rights. We are drawing parallels with what happened 70 years ago – it's something we should have learnt from."

Glass, himself a descendent of holocaust survivors, was joined by other descendants and their allies for the two-hour demonstration.

He added: "Since 2015, European immigration policy has resulted in 3,771 migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, as part of 5,350 deaths worldwide and over 25 at the Calais/UK border.

"The government's refusal to allow morally sensible entry has driven people into the arms of traffickers, onto high speed train tracks and into the backs of suffocating lorries. There must be no more deaths."

Although the official Holocaust Memorial Day is on 27 January, the group staged the demonstration earlier so all groups involved could attend.

Bilal Ahmed, Never Again Ever! activist added: "The situation of asylum seekers in Calais closely parallels that of refugees during the 1930s, including Jews, Roma, Sinti, and political opponents, who were fleeing the rise of fascism.

"We cannot pretend that we have learned the lessons of the Holocaust while the border systems, and European institutions, that helped enable it continue to cause such immense suffering."