Holocaust Memorial Day is on Monday 27 January and the importance of remembering and learning from history’s darkest hour has never been greater.
This year’s event marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and remembers the six million people murdered in the Nazi Holocaust. It also acts as a memorial to those who suffered and died as a result of crimes committed in genocides which followed – in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.
It comes at a time when hate crime (including antisemitism) is sadly on the increase in the UK and highlights the importance of the personal testimonies of those who lived through the terrible events of 1941-45.
“History is there to teach us a lesson,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of H&F Council. “And the one true lesson of The Holocaust is, simply, ‘never again’.
“Survivors have important messages for us about how the hatred and vilification of minorities can lead to abhorrent crimes – and how we must stand together to fight those who seek to marginalise these communities.”
H&F Council will welcome a Holocaust survivor, who will share their personal experiences with an invited audience.
This year, Cirla Lewis joins us. She was born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1935, to Jewish parents, and survived the antisemitic attempt to eradicate her whole family.
She was forced to wear the Nazis’ yellow Star of David, and her father and grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz.
Cirla’s visit has been arranged by the Holocaust Educational Trust, a charity which makes it possible for people to hear these lessons from history first hand – directly from those who survived the horror of the Holocaust.
Mural in Fulham
Meanwhile, Chelsea Football Club are commemorating the day with a mural at Stamford Bridge, remembering footballers interned in Nazi death camps during World War II.
The mural, painted by Anglo-Israeli artist Solomon Souza, highlights the cases of three men: two of whom died in the camps; one who survived, living in the UK until his death last year.
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