Set on January 27th because that was the date, in 1945, which saw the liberation of Auschwitz. It's not just an historical 'woe, woe, that was bad' endeavour - though of course it was - but an awareness raising, bridge building day with one key message and goal.
It will happen again. No historian, nor human rights campaigner, let alone sociologist or political commentator, is naive enough to think it won't. All of the elements which gave rise to the Third Reich in the first place, and its horrific Final Solution of death camps, execution squads and gas chambers, exist right now. They swim endlessly in our society, often in the background, with a quite worrying frequency coming back to the fore.
Right now, religious leaders in France are warning Jews to not wear their skullcaps, as it renders them too visible a target. French Jews are beginning to flee their country - as yet a trickle, in danger of becoming an exodus. All across Europe, borders are being closed to those fleeing war and arbitrary cruelties in Syria.
In Britain, asylum seekers were made to don - and keep on 24/7 - distinctive wristbands in Cardiff, thus ensuring that they were publicly identifiable at a glance. While in the north-east of England, refugees housed by the Home Office found that their front doors had been painted bright red. All the better for local thugs and hoodlums to know were they lived.
Everywhere the Far Right is gaining more ground politically than at any other time since the Holocaust.
The USA has a concentration camp, which its citizens apparently don't deem worth rising in enough numbers to pressure their government to close. Because they haven't. While momentum is gathering beyond presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose views wouldn't have been out of step with Hitler's Nazi Regime, including conceptual support for race based internment camps.
Meanwhile, Australia is condemning thousands of people to unaccountable 'detention facilities' on islands off their shores. Human Rights inspectors have been banned from entering. Legal processes are done in utmost secrecy (with no evidence that they're being done at all). The reports coming out of places like Manus Island and Nauru are unsettling to say the least. North Korea undoubtedly has death camps. About which much lip service in shaking head disapproval has been afforded by the outside world. But not enough to do anything about it.
All this makes 'never again' seem like a joke. 'Not on my watch' is about the best we can do, and even then it's a terribly uphill struggle.
We have Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27th, not because people forget, but because they forget the specifics and that's what allows the memory to metamorphose into lived experience.
Never again indeed, and certainly not on my watch.
Kira and the Nazi Party: Would our Saviour be Light Yagami in the Holocaust?
You got me. Guilty as charged. Holocaust historian here, ninja-ing an important date in my calendar into the remit of Death Note.
But because it's an important date, and my thoughts are otherwise largely swirling around content for articles here, the two merged in a musing during my commute this morning: what if Kira had come a couple of generations before? What if Light Yagami's statement that 'the world is rotten' had taken place against a global back-drop of World War II, the rise of Hitler and the actuality of the Holocaust?
Would the names written in his Death Note have included Heinrich Himmler, Martin Bormann, Josef Mengele, Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels and the rest of their ilk? What would have happened historically, if Kira took out Rudolf Höss before he'd perfected killing on an industrial scale with Zyklon B and cremations?
An intriguing 'what if' in history, but not one which could be answered easily and definitely not within the scope of this article.
Is Justice Served by Kira if his Death Note Ends Genocide?
What concerned me more was the logical query following on - if Kira single-handedly averted the Holocaust through mass murder, does that make him the good guy? Or just as bad as those he sought to destroy?
The human rights activist in me wants to say the latter. The historian is wide-eyed and tight lipped with quivering self-horror at my sensibility's tacit assent for the former.
The philosopher of my first degree mutters on about two wrongs not making a right.
The literary critic snaps that this is precisely the sort of dilemma encountered by all within the canon Death Note universe, during the ascendancy of Kira's New World.
I'm sure we can all very keenly picture Near's sneering reaction in disdain of the question. For him, Kira is a serial killer no matter what the underlying cause. There is no justification. Not even the millions consigned to the gas chambers, starved, exposed to epidemics, subjected to scientific/medical experimentation or shot into mass graves. Even then, Light Yagami is just a murderer.
Where do you stand on the issue?
Imagining a Nazi Kira and the Death Note's Final Solution
Our sense of right and wrong, just or unfair, moral or corrupt, is shaped by our upbringing, societal pressures and the drip-drop of propaganda as fed by every nation's media on any given day. More so than any of us would like to admit. Hence it's reasonable to assume that Light Yagami's chief exposure to the Holocaust would be within a generally supportive cultural back-drop. His information and resultant position could well be akin to Hitler and his government.
Which leads us to another proposal ranked with horrors: what if Light's Death Note was used for the Nazis? How even more widespread might be the Final Solution with the Death Note involved? (Political dissidents, or fleeing refugees known by name and photograph, reached without resource to a death camp.)
Or more pertinently put, what if the Death Note fell into the hands of Nazis? Then and now.
How much more terrifying might our watch be? And would we ever get the chance to say 'never again'?
Or could collusion create yet more greatly amassed clues to Yagami's own identity? To play out with deductive precision in a Wammy House mind, thus rendering Kira's capture a swifter endeavour?
Or don't you think Light Yagami would have involved himself in the Holocaust at all? Ignoring its reality, just as so many of us continue on apathetically when faced with elements today similar to those once staged by a burgeoning Nazi regime.
A pointless musing perhaps, but one which pays dividends in awareness on a day like this.
Over to you.