Holocaust Memorial Day 2020
“Don’t be content in you life just to do no wrong, be
prepared everyday to try and do some good”.
Sir Nicholas Winton who rescued 669 children from Nazi occupied Europe
As you are aware from the national news, Holocaust Memorial Day is marked each year on 27th January, the anniversary of the
liberation of Auschwitz –Birkenau Concentration Camp.
The theme for 2020 was ‘Stand Together’. It explores how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups and how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing
together and speaking out against oppression of all kinds. This year this event was especially poignant as it was the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz—Birkenau and it also marked the 25th Anniversary of the genocide at Srebrenica which is the largest incident of mass murder in Europe since 1945.
I took six, Year 6, children to the Memorial Day Service at Palmers Rest Gardens where they read a poem called ’Holocaust Remembered’ by Elena Thornton. There were a number of other local schools, clergy and politicians who took part in the moving service which ended with the Jewish traditional pebble laying ceremony to remember the dead.
My overriding thought was how terrible it was, that an event which should never have been allowed to happen over 75 years ago, was repeated as recently as 25 years ago and is still being repeated—Do we never learn? A short excerpt of music by Vaughan Williams called ‘The Lark Ascending’ was played as each person thought and prayed. Please click the audio clip to listen.