|Holocaust Memorial Day|
Global event day saw service held at Ealing Town Hall
A service in Ealing to remember victims and survivors of the Holocaust heard from a former child refugee who fled Austria when he was 8.
Mr Ernest Simon, escaped to England on one of the Kindertransport rescue trains before the outbreak of the Second World War. Mr Simon shared his memories of his childhood, his emotions when faced with leaving his parents and how he settled into a life in England.
The event, was held to remember all those who were killed during the Holocaust, which remains one of the world’s worst atrocities and to make seven pledges in the hope it will never happen again.
Leader of Ealing Council, Julian Bell, said: “It is always an honour to meet anyone who survived the holocaust and hear their stories. The last 70 years have brought many truths about what happened during those years of horror to light and hopefully we have all learnt something from it. This year’s theme though, has a very clear call to action – Don’t stand by – all it takes for evil to flourish is for people of goodwill to remain silent. We all need to do our bit to help create a safer, better future for people all over the world.”
The service, led by Reverend Dean Ayres, Chaplain of the University of West London reflected on the past 70 years and introduced this year’s theme ‘Don’t Stand By’ - encouraging people to not be bystanders and create cultures which allow genocides of any type to happen again.
The Mayor of Ealing, Harbhajan Kaur Dheer, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is a global event held to remember the millions of people killed in the Holocaust and other genocides since. It is an opportunity to commemorate the victims, honour the survivors and to pledge that these atrocities never happen again.”
Rabbi Vogel and Basil Mann, from Ealing Synagogue also addressed the event with their thoughts, stories and prayers for the future.
Pupils from Hambrough Primary School presented seven pledges from the Stockholm Declaration.
Pledges from the Stockholm Declaration:
1. We recognise that the Holocaust shook the foundations of modern civilisation. Its unprecedented character and horror will always hold universal meaning
2. We believe the Holocaust must have a permanent place in our nation’s collective memory. We honour the survivors still with us, and reaffirm our shared goals of mutual understanding and justice
3. We must make sure that future generations understand the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its consequences. We vow to remember the victims of Nazi persecution and of all genocides
4. We value the sacrifices of those who have risked their lives to protect or rescue victims, as a touchstone of the human capacity for good in the face of evil
5. We recognise that humanity is still scarred by the belief that race, religion, disability or sexuality make some people’s lives worth less than others’. Genocide, anti-semitism, racism, xenophobia and discrimination still continue. We have a shared responsibility to fight these evils
6. We pledge to strengthen our efforts to promote education and research about the Holocaust and other genocides. We will do our utmost to make sure that the lessons of such events are fully learnt
7. We will continue to encourage Holocaust remembrance by holding an annual UK Holocaust Memorial Day. We condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism. We value a free, respectful, and democratic society.
2nd February 2016