Observing Holocaust Memorial Day

By agency reporter
January 27, 2018

Deeply moving events to mark international Holocaust Memorial Day are taking place this week. Quakers across Britain are taking part.

The purpose of Holocaust Memorial Day is to learn the lessons of the past, to honour the survivors of genocides and use their experience to inform lives today. It is a time to remember six million Jews and others murdered in the Holocaust and millions of people killed in Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.

27 January  marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Marigold Bentley, Head of Peace Programmes and Faith Relations for Quakers in Britain, attends the UK commemorative ceremony in Westminster to solemnly mark the event alongside other representatives of faith communities drawn from across the UK. She says, "Whilst the event is formal and deeply reflective, it is also an opportunity to meet with a large number of people actively committed to preventing any future genocides and to share and learn from one another."

In Westminster, as elsewhere poignant music and moving stories gave time to think. Fittingly the theme for this year is 'The Power of Words,' she reflected. “We heard the recording of the compelling words of Richard Dimbleby reporting from Bergen-Belsen in April 1945. This was one of the first accounts from the death camps and his son Jonathan told us that the BBC were reluctant to broadcast it, finding it hard to believe. First hand reporting as a vital role."

* Read Marigold Bentley's reflections The power of words: Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 here

* The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust http://www.hmd.org.uk/page/about-hmdt

*Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 people attend 478 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

*Quakers in Britain http://www.quaker.org.uk/

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