Heir to the British throne, the Prince of Wales, has issued a stark warning – that the world risks repeating the horrors of the Holocaust as a result of increasing populist extremism and prejudice against other faiths.
The Duke of Cornwall, who is known for not holding back with his views, has spoken out to urge people to welcome those genuinely fleeing persecution. The Prince said: “We are now seeing the rise of many populist groups across the world that are increasingly aggressive to those who adhere to a minority faith. All of this has deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930s.”
He said that his parents generation had fought and died for freedom, to fight against intolerance, extremism and inhuman acts. The Prince urged Britain the wider world not to go backwards in its attitudes.
While he did not name names, his speech, broadcast on BBC radio, was seen by many as a warnning following the surprise election of Donald Trump this year in America, and the rise in popularity of the far right in pockets of Europe.
The Prince added that everyone had a duty to those who died in World War Two not to repeat the past. He pointed to United Nations statistics, which show that the number of refugees trying to escape persecution in their own lands is on the increase. The figures show that 65.3 million people abandoned their homes in 2015 in a bid to see a better, safer life – that is 5.8 million more than last year, and is pretty much the same as the number in the UK’s population.
However, he warned that when refugees reached Britain, their suffering did not always end, as they often came up against racism and prejudice. He asked people to remember the Christmas story, which is essentiallly about the holy family travelling to escape persecution.