BARKING and Dagenham solemnly came together for a commemorative Holocaust Memorial Day event.
On Monday, January 28, residents, school children, councillors, council staff and religious leaders assembled at Barking Town Hall for the commemorative ceremony.
Holocaust Memorial Day marks liberation of Auschwitz in 1945. Auschwitz was the largest Nazi death in occupied Poland, an estimated 1.1million people were killed there.
The day commemorates the 6million Jewish people murdered in the holocaust and the millions who died under Nazi persecution.
It is also a chance to remember all those who lost their lives in subsequent genocides – 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda.
Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE began proceedings by lighting six yahrzeit candles; the candles are lit in memory of the dead in Judaism.
Rabbi Gluck is the chairman and founder of the Muslim-Jewish Forum, which deals with issues of concern to both communities and prevents and defuses tensions.
The candle lighting was followed by reflections from notable guests including Jennifer Candari-U Kangwagye of the Rwandese Abagimigambi Organisation, and Holocaust survivor Lili Polhmann.
Pupils from Eastbury Primary School and Eastbury Secondary School then delivered presentations before a final speech from Rabbi Gluck.
The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial day was ’Torn from Home’.
Audiences were encouraged to reflect on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ is part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide.
Councillor Saima Ashraf, deputy leader and cabinet member for community leadership and engagement, said: “It is important that we remember the Holocaust, despite its horrific nature, so that we can strive to avoid this blot on the copybook of history ever being repeated.”
Story courtesy of Yellow Advertiser