Many attend moving Holocaust Memorial Day service in Stevenage

PUBLISHED: 14:51 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:51 30 January 2018

Dignitaries gathered for the Holocaust Memorial Day Service at Stevenage Borough Council's headquarters in danestrete. Picture  Pete Stevens

Dignitaries gathered for the Holocaust Memorial Day Service at Stevenage Borough Council's headquarters in danestrete. Picture Pete Stevens

2018 Pete Stevens

Stevenage Mayor, Councillor Pam Stuart was joined by dignitaries and people from across Hertfordshire yesterday to mark Holocaust Memorial Day at a special ceremony at Stevenage Borough Council’s headquarters.

Visitors to the Holocaust Memorial Day drop-in event at Stevenage Central Library. Picture: Jacqueline Beattie.Visitors to the Holocaust Memorial Day drop-in event at Stevenage Central Library. Picture: Jacqueline Beattie.

The event, which was organised by the council and supported by the Stevenage Liberal Synagogue and Stevenage Central Library, was a chance to remember the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust during the second world war and the victims of other genocides since.

The Mayor was joined by the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss CBE, Deputy Lieutenant, Dr Richard Woolfson, The High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Mr Will Hobhouse, and council leader Councillor Sharon Taylor OBE.

Mayors from neighbouring towns, fellow councillors and local religious leaders also come along to the ceremony to see the lighting of the memorial candle.

Mrs Stuart, said: “We’re fortunate here in the UK not to be at risk of genocide, but discrimination has not ended, and nor has the use of the language of hatred or exclusion. I am pleased that so many people from different cultures and religions attended Holocaust Memorial Day to show the town’s strong sense of community to remember and honour those that have been lost in the atrocities of the holocaust and other genocides.”

People attending the drop-in session at Stevenage Central Library where there is a display of Holocaust themed books. Picture: Jacqueline BeattiePeople attending the drop-in session at Stevenage Central Library where there is a display of Holocaust themed books. Picture: Jacqueline Beattie

Jacqueline Beattie who is a member of Stevenage Liberal Synagogue said the event was very moving and was extremely well attended with extra chairs having to be found for those who attended.

Speeches were made by Eva Clarke who was born in the Nazi death camp at Mauthausen in 1945 and by Dzemal Paratusic a survivor of the Bosnian genocide in the 1990s.

The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day was ‘The Power of Words’, and it focused on the impact that words had in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, through propaganda used to incite, slogans written in resistance, and memoirs written to record and respond to what was going on.

A display of books on Holocaust themes has been on show at Stevenage Central Library for people to borrow for the past fortnight and last weekend there was a special drop-in session so people could ask questions to members of the synagogue.

For more information on Holocaust Memorial Day and details of the national campaign, visit HMD.org.uk.

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