Holocaust Memorial Day
7th February 2017
This post comes from our first year undergraduate student Anna Cardy.
‘For the survivor death is not the problem. Death was an everyday occurrence. We learned to live with death. The problem is to adjust to life to living. You must teach us about living.’ – Elie Wiesel
As part of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s Youth Champion Board I was fortunate enough to attend and speak at the UK commemorative ceremony alongside the likes of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Jim Broadbent, Nicola Walker and other notable figures. This year’s theme for Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘How Can Life Go On?’ and examines the challenges survivors face after genocide. On this day, we remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution as well as the victims of genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The Holocaust and subsequent genocides remind us of the cruel capabilities of mankind. Unfortunately, they also still resonate with many contemporary issues around the world today.
The UK commemorative ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day took place on the 26th January in Westminster London and had various political, civic and faith leaders in attendance. Contributions throughout the ceremony included a survivor’s testimony from Hannah Lewis, Eric Eugene Murangwa, and Lily Ebert, music from the Clothworkers Consort of Leeds and poetry from Valdemar Kalinin. As well as readings from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for communities and local government. You can watch highlights of the ceremony here.
There was an important reflection on the meaning of remembrance events such as that of Holocaust Memorial Day in contemporary society by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby who stated that ‘the culture of alternative facts, post – truths, of collusion needs to be challenged at every level and in every conversation and debate in this country, if indeed we are to be a place of safety and healing for those fleeing tyranny and cruelty.’
To read more, there is a Guardian Article.
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