Sheffield set to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Candles lit during last year's Holocaust Memorial Service at the Winter Gardens. Picture: Andrew Roe

Candles lit during last year's Holocaust Memorial Service at the Winter Gardens. Picture: Andrew Roe

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People from across Sheffield are set to mark Holocaust Memorial Day next week in a candlelit ceremony in the Winter Garden.

The memorial day, which will be held on Wednesday, January 27, commemorates the millions of people who were murdered or whose lives were changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust and in the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Sheffield City Council will be hosting the vigil in order to 'honour the memory of those who were lost, and to remind people of the important lessons learned in order to create a better safer future'.

The candlelit ceremony will be held in the Winter Garden at 5.30pm and everyone is welcome to attend.

Short films, which will tell the story of survivors, will be aired on a loop beforehand.

They can be viewed by anytime between midday and 5pm.

The theme to this year’s day is ‘Don’t Stand By’ which challenges people not to let discrimination and hatred pass by but to do something about it.

Sue Pearson, who came to Sheffield as a refugee on Kindertransport, will be sharing her experience at the ceremony. She says: “I was one of the 669 children saved from the Holocaust by one man, Sir Nicholas Winton, who did not stand by.

“In the space of 10 months, 10,000 other children were taken in by Britain. They avoided the fate of the 1.5 million children who were put to death in the Holocaust.”

Coun Mazher Iqbal, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Equality said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an important day of remembrance. We need to understand and remember what so many people have gone through and what can happen when the politics of hate and division are not challenged.

“I hope that as many people as possible can join us at the event to reflect on the past and consider the future. During the ceremony there will be opportunities for everyone to light a candle in honour of those who lost their lives.”

Bishop Tim Ellis, Chair of Sheffield Faiths Together said “Sheffield Faiths Together is united in supporting a continued, strong observance of Holocaust Memorial Day.

“In remembering the atrocities of the Second World War, we are also bringing to mind the sufferings of those of all Faiths and none who are today undergoing persecution, abuse and violence throughout the World.

“We are resolute and united in doing all we can, not just to remember, but also to work together today with all people of good will to eradicate this evil from our midst.”

The event will be led by the Lord Mayor and speakers will include Penny Kay, Sheffield & District Reform Jewish Congregation. There will be a time of reflection with Chief Constable David Crompton, readings by pupils at Handsworth Grange Community Sports College, and more.

In the build up to the day a collection of posters will be displayed in the Winter Gardens between Monday 18 January and Wednesday 27 January.

Last year over 3,600 local activities took place across the UK to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, with people coming together in civic halls, public spaces, libraries, cinemas, workplaces, schools and universities.

This year, once again, thousands of activities are taking place bringing together people of all ages and from all walks of life.

For information about the day please visit click here.

You can also follow the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust on Twitter via @HMD_UK and the hashtag #HMD2016

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