Wednesday, 27 January will see National Holocaust Memorial Day marked online in Liverpool, with the online commemoration available to watch safely from home.
Due to the current national lockdown, a video will be made available marking the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenhau and more recent Genocides including Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.
The Service will include a pre-recorded Act of Commitment from Faith Leaders, guest speaker Dame Louise Ellman DBE and musical performances from King David High School.
The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Anna Rothery, Acting Mayor Councillor Wendy Simon, Rabbi Ariel Abel, Chaplain to the Forces and Minister, Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation, will lay wreaths at the Memorial Stone in St John’s Garden.
Cllr Rothery said:
“This year marks the 76th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, which is a significant milestone and is made particularly poignant by the dwindling number of survivors who are able to share their testimony.
“Today, it is no less harrowing for us even with the passage of time and in truth it never will be. We can’t help but be shocked by the incredulity of what took place, showing the darker side of man’s humanity to man.
“The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 is ‘Be the Light in the Darkness’. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depth’s humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.
“The world is dealing with the global pandemic of Covid-19. It is a time of great change and uncertainty for us all. Many are experiencing anxiety with the separation from family and friends; and some are taking an authoritarian approach and condemn others’ behaviour. There are a proliferation of conspiracy theories about the pandemic, with minority groups targeted in many instances.
“Yet this is also a time when so many people are bringing light to their neighbours and communities. Within days, 750,000 people signed up to volunteer for the NHS. In every corner of the country, mutual aid community groups, charities and neighbourhoods have joined together to provide help to their neighbours and communities – a beacon of hope in dark times. Here in Liverpool, our communities have all pulled together to volunteer and support the fight against the pandemic and support the community.
“Holocaust Memorial Day enables us to remember – for a purpose. It gives us a responsibility to work for a safer, better, future for everyone. Everyone can step up and use their talents to tackle prejudice, discrimination and intolerance wherever we encounter them.
“Our individual contribution can take many forms, but we must never forget what happened, we must unite in remembering the victims and we must do all we can to fight the ignorance that breeds prejudice, intolerance and hatred which can lead to acts of brutality and evil. It is therefore important we must never forget the past and educate the future.”
The full film will be available here from 10am on Wednesday 27 January 2021.