Worcester Mayor Steve Mackay will host a Holocaust MemorialDay event in the Guildhall on Saturday 27 January at 10.30am. The event willfeature students from local secondary schools and is being organised by theWorcestershire Interfaith Forum for the fourth year running.
Barbara Winton will give a talk at the event. Barbaras father,the late Sir Nicholas Winton, has sometimes been described as a BritishSchindler for his work organising the Czech and Slovak Kindertransport in 1939which rescued endangered children from the Nazi threat. Barbara will be talkingabout her fathers work and legacy.
Mayor of Worcester, Steve Mackay said: Holocaust MemorialDay is a special day. One of remembrance of those who lost their lives and atime when we are reminded of the actions of those who brought about that loss.I am very pleased to be able to host this ceremony at the Worcester Guildhall thisyear and hope that many will attend on the morning.
Holocaust Memorial Day is organised nationally by the HolocaustMemorial Trust, and 27 January marks the day in 1945 when the death camp atAuschwitz was liberated. Nowadays it marks not only the Holocaust, but theother tragic events which are officially recognised by the UN as genocides:Cambodias killing fields, the massacre of Bosnian Muslims, the Rwandagenocide, and the continuing present-day genocide in Dafur.
The Revd Doug Chaplin, a co-organiser of this inter-faithevent and a development officer in the Diocese of Worcester, said: We rememberthe past, in order to commit ourselves to build a better future. This yearstheme, concentrating on The Power of Words seems particularly powerful intodays media and political climate. Historically, the Nazi party and othergenocidal regimes have dressed their propaganda up as truth, while dismissingthe truth as fake news. They have used words to make people hate and demoniseothers for being different. This year, we are encouraging the opposite: toinvite people to think about what they say, and to use words to heal,reconcile, and build community.
This year, the event is being supported as well byWorcesters biggest landlord, Fortis Living, who are encouraging their staffand residents to join in this community event rather than holding one of theirown.
Tom Piotrowski, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor at FortisLiving explained: Holocaust Memorial Day is not only about remembering thepast, but also about making sure that such horrors never reoccur and thatprejudice, bigotry and hatred have no place in modern society. As a housingassociation, we want to encourage our communities to live peacefully with eachother in an environment of help, support and encouragement.
The event, which starts at 10.30am on Saturday 27 January,is open to anyone who wishes to attend, and people may want to come and sharethe commemoration at the Guildhall, as a break in their Saturday morningshopping. There is no charge.