Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on Thursday 27 January – marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, and genocides worldwide.
To mark this occasion Cheshire East Council is sharing a pre-recorded service, led by Cheshire East mayor Cllr Sarah Pochin, who will be lighting a candle on behalf of the Cheshire East community.
The service also features comments from Cllr Sam Corcoran, leader of the Council, and a personal testimony from deputy leader, Cllr Craig Browne, about his work with the Roma community in Romania. The ceremony concludes with a prayer from Fr Michael Morton of St Winefride’s Church in Sandbach.
Since 2001 Holocaust Memorial Day has been held on the same day each year, taking the time to remember the six million Jews, two million Gypsies, 15,000 homosexual people and millions of others murdered under Nazi persecution in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.
This is the 10th consecutive year the Council has held an annual Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration service, and with the continuing disruption from the coronavirus pandemic, will be in the form of a recorded service instead of a live event for residents.
Cllr Corcoran said: “Many years may have passed since the horrendous atrocities committed during the Holocaust, but the impact and devastation caused is still felt across our communities.
“For a decade we have commemorated this pivotal event at the council, and this year we’re taking the time to reflect on this poignant day through a pre-recorded ceremony, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s crucial for us to come together during this day to not only unite and reflect on the unspeakable acts committed during this period, but to reinforce how vital it is that we speak up at the first sign of abuse, discrimination, racism and segregation, and embed a safe and open culture for our residents.”
Cllr Browne said: “The 27 January is an important date in the calendar to come together and remember the unspeakable acts committed during the Holocaust by mankind.
“I would like to invite and encourage residents to join us in the online service of remembrance and reflection, as we pledge to do all in our power to create a safer, better future for all.”
An online ceremony is also being held for Holocaust Memorial Day, on Thursday 27 January from 7-8pm. Anyone wishing to attend will need to register for the event via the memorial website.
Following the online ceremony households are encouraged to join in with the national reflection, by lighting a candle at 8pm and displaying it their window, to remember those who were murdered, and to unite and stand against prejudice and hatred today.