How can life go on after the Holocaust? That was the theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day event at Merton Council featuring guest speakers from across the faith and local community.
Moving tributes were paid to victims, prayers from different faiths were read out and the melodic tones of the Wimbledon Synagogue Choir rang out to mark the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Residents were invited to the event on Tuesday 24 January which marks Holocaust Memorial Day, remembering the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27 1945.
The evening’s programme was held at the council chamber at the Civic Centre in Morden and included a presentation from David Clark, a member of the Second Generation Network and contributions from local politicians, community representatives, religious leaders and the Wimbledon Synagogue choir.
Never Shall I Forget from Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel’s novel Night was read out, alongside Anthony Parker’s Would You Speak if They Came For Me? and a poem about the children of Rwanda by Reverend Francois Murenzi.
This year’s theme is ‘how can life go on’ and urges us to reflect on our responsibilities after such crimes and how survivors are supported to rebuild their lives.
The mayor of Merton, Councillor Brenda Fraser who led the event said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity to remember those who have lost their lives through the atrocities of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and honour the survivors.
“In Merton we are proud of our diverse community where people from different backgrounds get on well together. The event shows our commitment to continuously working to erase hatred, prejudice and discrimination in the borough.”
The council also has an exhibition in the Civic Centre reception displaying information on the Holocaust and other genocides. It will be there until January 27.
For further information on Holocaust memorial events visit www.merton.gov.uk/holocaustmemorialday