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Marking Holocaust Memorial Day in Dudley

Published: 25th January 2023

holocaust memorial day logoTomorrow (27/1) is Holocaust Memorial Day, a chance to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution of other groups and during more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Bishop Martin attended a commemorative event in Dudley Borough which was held at Dudley College last Friday. He joined the Mayor, Sue Greenaway and other local faith leaders to  light a candle of remembrance for the millions of people who were killed and persecuted during the Holocaust, before planting a tree in Coronation Gardens to mark the 80th anniversary of the Association of Jewish Refugees.Lighting a candle

A keynote speech was given by concentration camp survivor Eva Clarke BEM. Mrs Clarke was born on a cart outside the Mauthausen camp in April 1945 after her pregnant mother was sent on a horrific three-week journey via coal truck. Fifteen members of her family lost their lives in the Holocaust. Bishop Martin also spoke at the event, along with Rabbi Margaret Jacobi from Birmingham Progressive Synagogue, former Dudley North MP, Lord Austin, and the leader of Dudley Council, Councillor Patrick Harley.

Bishop Martin said: 

Bishop Martin speaking at the event“Dudley was able to hold its annual Holocaust memorial event in person this year, after two years of Zoom. It is one of the biggest such events in the country, organised by former Dudley MP Ian Austin. The main hall at Dudley College was filled with students, school pupils, councillors, MPs, the Mayor, the Lord Lieutenant and faith representatives, and we were privileged to hear a deeply moving and informative account from Holocaust survivor Eva Clark BEM. After the war she came to Britain and found a home and asylum in this country. She spoke powerfully of the need to welcome those fleeing war and persecution today. The event ended with a tree planting ceremony involving recent refugees living in Dudley. These included Daria who escaped from Afghanistan with his family under the government resettlement scheme and is now living in accommodation made available by the Diocese.”

A native Oak Tree was planted to symbolise the contribution of Jewish refugees to life in Britain. Also involved were the Association of Jewish Refugees chief executive Michael Newman OBE, Lord Lieutenant John Crabtree CBE, and pupils from St Thomas’s School. It was the final planting of the AJR’s 80 Trees for 80 Years projectAfter the tree planting and Dudley was selected as the final site to the borough’s long history of welcoming refugees of many different faiths and nationalities.

Photos by Dudley College students Josh Harper, Miah Bryan and Bethany Hewitt

Page last updated: Thursday 26th January 2023 3:30 PM

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