Commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day

The lifeboat from Selsey positioning itself alongside the Eridan
The lifeboat from Selsey positioning itself alongside the Eridan

Milton Keynes Council will join hundreds of other organisations up and down the country in marking Holocaust Memorial Day later this month.

This year’s commemoration will take place in the Council Chamber, from 6.15pm to 7pm, on Wednesday, January 27.

The programme will include a presentation by students of Sir Herbert Leon Academy, following their emotional visit to the Auschwitz Memorial.

The school has been closely involved in marking Holocaust Memorial Day for many years.

Milton Keynes’ own poet laureate, Mark Niel will read one of his original compositions and the event will be led by Rabbi Stan Cohen, from the Milton Keynes District Synagogue.

This year’s national theme is ‘Don’t Stand By’, and the central vision of Holocaust Memorial Day is to learn from the past in order to create a safer, better future.

It is hoped that people of different faiths and beliefs will attend the event and guests will be invited to leave a message of commitment on our ‘Remembrance Tree’ in the Council Chamber.

Milton Keynes Mayor Keith McLean said: “We want this to be a thoughtful, reflective and inclusive commemoration.

“Holocaust Memorial Day is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own, it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented.

“HMD Day 2016 will enable people to learn about the ways in which bystanders created cultures in which genocides were able to take place, and about the rescuers and resisters who challenged this.

“HMD 2016 will encourage people today to consider the ways in which they can choose not to be bystanders.

“This year’s theme is very much about not allowing the same circumstances to arise again in which the Holocaust and other genocides can flourish – to not repeat the same mistakes again.”