Holocaust Memorial Day commemorated by East London council.

Barking and Dagenham Council will be commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday 27th of January. The event will bring together the borough’s civic, faith and political leaders in a special video that will be shared across social media and will also see the raising of a commemorative Holocaust Memorial Day flag above the Town Hall.

The theme of this year’s Day is ‘Be the light in the darkness’. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depth’s humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.

Be the light in the darkness is an affirmation and a call to action for everyone marking Holocaust Memorial Day. This theme asks people to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’, for example, identity-based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice; and different ways of ‘being the light’, for example, resistance, acts of solidarity, rescue and illuminating mistruths.

Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated on 27 January – a date that marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest concentration camp in occupied Poland. It is a day for everyone to remember the six million Jewish people murdered in the Holocaust, and the millions of people killed under Nazi persecution, and in genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. 

Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity for local people and communities to reflect on those lives that were changed beyond recognition, and to challenge prejudice, discrimination and hatred in our society today. Holocaust Memorial Day reminds us that we all have a role to play to ensure that we learn the lessons of the past, to create a safer, better future.

Under current circumstances, the council hopes residents in the borough will still commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in a safe way at home. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust will be holding an online event from 7pm on 27 January, and residents can find more information about it at: www.hmd.org.uk/uk-holocaust-memorial-day-2021-ceremony/  

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement, Cllr Saima Ashraf said: “As a borough, it is so important that we remember the six million Jews who were murdered under Nazi persecution, and in genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. 

“This year’s theme is ‘Be the light in the darkness’ and I hope our residents will reflect on this and the many lives that were lost, whilst also challenging prejudice, discrimination and hatred that continues in our society today. There is no place for hate and division in Barking and Dagenham and today is an opportunity for us all, even though we cannot do it person, but come together in spirit and in solidarity.”

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