Holocaust Memorial Day marks the anniversary each year of the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27, 1945.

Every year, it provides us with a vital opportunity to remember the millions of people killed by Nazi persecution, and in the genocides that have followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Durfur.

My own connection with Holocaust education started with a meeting I attended when I was young with a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp. The story she told me of what she went through was chilling, and something I’ll never forget.

But inevitably, as each year goes by, there are fewer and fewer people alive to tell the truth of what happened in Nazi Germany directly. After all, next year will mark the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

So the job of keeping the flame of memory alive becomes ever more important. To pay tribute to those who lost their lives and those who survived, and to learn the lessons of the past so that we don’t repeat them.

That’s why I’ve taken the time over the past two weeks to help plan and attend school assemblies across Torfaen, to ensure the message about Holocaust Memorial Day is spread. A huge thank you to all the school staff and pupils who’ve taken part in or attended those Assemblies.

Each of those young people will have learned about the six million men, women and children who were murdered by the Nazis between 1941 and 1946. Jewish people, Roma and other gypsy travellers, disabled people, gay people, political opponents and others.

But such murderous evil didn’t start from nothing.

It started with the scapegoating of Jewish people, the blaming of ‘others’ for the situation Germany found itself in between the wars. It escalated into discrimination and dehumanisation years before the concentration camps.

That’s why it’s so important for our young people to be told the story of where discrimination ends. To reject hatred and embrace human kindness to all. To reject discrimination and instead be tolerant of others who are different. And perhaps most importantly of all, to always question what you hear or read.

That’s especially key in today’s social media age, where people with hidden agendas peddle nonsense like Holocaust denial, seeking to evade the uncomfortable truths that this genocide surfaces and spread their own poisonous prejudices.

We should never allow those divisive false narratives to take hold – that’s why Holocaust Memorial Day will always be important, to us in Torfaen and beyond.