Cheshire East Council held a poignant service of remembrance to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
The move followed a personal initiative by Council Leader Michael Jones, announced last month, to make the date an annual commemoration by the authority.
Councillor Jones, Cheshire East Council Mayor Councillor Dorothy Flude and Mayor of Sandbach Councillor Mike Benson led more than 60 members of the public and civic dignitaries representing communities from across the Borough at the Holocaust Memorial Day Act of Remembrance, at Sandbach Town Hall, today(Monday, January 27).
The ceremony included the reading of a poem, a violin performance of John Williams’ ‘Remembrance’ by Congleton High School Year 10 pupil Eloise Smith, the lighting of memorial candles by people who attended and the observing of two minutes’ silence.
Councillor Michael Jones said: “This was a solemn occasion when the people of Cheshire East joined together symbolically as a community to bear witness, remember and say ‘never again’.
“Sadly, humanity is still scarred by the belief that race, religion, disability or sexuality makes some people’s lives worth less than others.
“We must never forget these genocidal crimes, or their innocent victims, and we must challenge ourselves to learn the lessons of the past to help create a better and more humane future.”
Holocaust Memorial Day has taken place on the same date since it was introduced in 2001. January 27 was chosen as that was the date when the Nazis’ notorious Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by Russian troops in 1945.
The Holocaust resulted in the annihilation of six million Jews, two million Gypsies, 15,000 homosexual people and millions of others by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
Sadly, since 1945 there have been other attempted genocides across the world – including Rwanda, Cambodia and Bosnia – and these are also commemorated on Holocaust Memorial Day.