A SCOTTISH teacher whose mother survived the Nazi death camps has warned that the resurgence of the far-right could lead to another genocide in Europe.

Saskia Tepe, whose mother narrowly escaped death at Auschwitz, will voice her concerns on the eve of Scotland’s Holocaust Memorial Day this Friday.

“Holocaust Memorial Day is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own, it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented,” said Tepe, 62, who will speak at Bishopbriggs Academy on Thursday as part of a week of events organised by Interfaith Scotland and the Scottish Government.

“When people read about the Holocaust they think it has nothing to do with them because it was something that happened to the Jews, but this can happen to anyone. The conditions are ripe with the resurgence of the right in Europe for the persecution of minorities and another genocide. We are already seeing a rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents and a wave of feeling against immigrants in Europe and in the US.”

Saskia will tell the story of her mother’s escape from German-occupied Sudetenland in former Czechoslovakia, where Nazis put the Catholic German on a train to Auschwitz because she was classified as a ‘mongrel’ with two Jewish grandparents.

Brigitte Langer managed to escape by jumping off the train into a snowdrift, stole a nurse’s uniform and tended to German soldiers on the front to evade detection. After years spent in a refugee camp, where she gave birth to Saskia, she was allowed to move to England with her seven-year-old daughter. They later moved to Scotland where Saskia she became a teacher and married a Scot.

“To look at me, you would never think I was a refugee, but what happened during World War II overshadowed my life,” said Tepe, the author of a book about her mother's life called Surviving Brigitte’s Secrets.

“The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘how does life go on’ and I am living proof that the pain and suffering of being persecuted and a refugee does not stop - the consequences can last for years.

“I fear for what is happening around the world. When I read about the refugees fleeing conflict and persecution, I know how desperate they must be and don’t blame them for doing whatever they can to get to safety.”

Saskia will be joined on Holocaust Memorial Day by Umetesi Stewart, who survived the Rwandan genocide that wiped out 40 members of her family.

“My escape was a miracle. I believe God was looking out for me because it was not my time to die. I hid in the fields under banana trees during the rains to escape the killers who went from house to house, killing everyone,” said Umetesi, 33, who now lives in Falkirk with her Scottish husband.

“I want to be an ambassador of peace. You can see holocausts and genocides still happening in some countries. We need to work together to prevent genocide and discrimination.”

Dr Maureen Sier, Director of Interfaith Scotland, said: "At a time in history when we are seeing the rise of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and the politics of extremism, it is more critical than ever to remember the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and to learn from history. Young people everywhere have a right to live on in a world that is not blighted by hatred, discrimination and fear."

A new heritage centre will open later this year to celebrate the only Scot to be officially honoured for giving her life to help protect Jewish schoolgirls in the Holocaust.

Jane Haining’s extraordinary story of heroism, bravery and personal sacrifice, which resulted in her dying in Auschwitz in 1944, will be celebrated at the centre in Dunscore Church near Dumfries.