The day when the victims of the Holocaust and other human rights tragedies are especially remembered, Holocaust Memorial Day, takes place on Sunday 27 January, and it will again be marked by events taking place in Swindon.
The theme of this year’s event is “Communities Together: Build a Bridge”. Holocaust Memorial Day was first marked nationally in 2001, and is now established as an annual day of remembrance. Local authorities and faith groups have been asked to take a lead in developing local memorial events and appropriate activities.
The date, 27 January, marks the day when the Auschwitz concentration camps were liberated in 1945.
The day also encourages people to remember numerous other human rights tragedies around the world, including persecution and wars, past and present, and aims to help raise awareness among young people. Swindon schools are encouraged to mark it.
There will be a short 20 minute wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph in Regents Circus in Swindon at 12 noon, followed by a gathering for readings and reflection at 12.30 pm at the Friends Meeting House, Eastcott Hill. The latter is expected to last an hour, with readings and presentations by members of many of Swindon’s faith groups and community groups, as well as contributions from individuals.
Swindon Borough Council leader Cllr Roderick Bluh, who lost relatives in the Holocaust, said: “When people succeed in driving a wedge between communities, the lessons from history are all too apparent. We must not forget those lessons, and it is why Holocaust Memorial Day is so important.”
The event will also be attended by the Mayor of Swindon, Cllr Mick Bray.
Anyone with appropriate personal stories or readings is welcome to speak or read at the gathering, and is asked to contact Matt Holland at email@example.com beforehand, or speak to him on the day.
Light lunchtime refreshments, including sandwiches and hot drinks, will be provided at Friends Meeting House. Further information, and a more national perspective about Holocaust Memorial Day, can be found online at www.hmd.org.uk