This Wednesday is Holocaust Memorial Day, which is commemorated internationally every year on 27 January. Chosen because of its significance as the date Soviet Army liberated the largest Nazi concentration camp – Auschwitz-Birkenau – in 1945, Holocaust Memorial Day gives us a chance to stop and remember.
Every year, through personal thought and organised events, millions of people across the globe reflect on what can happen when racism, prejudice and exclusionary behaviour are left unchecked, and how we can make sure that the stark experiences of the past don’t play a part in our communities today.
Why not do something to mark this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day at Speakers’ Corner, or even host a small event. From a supper for friends, or just stopping to think during supper with your family – there is no right or wrong thing to do to remember.
There are also a range of events taking place across the West Midlands – find out more.
Doing this gives us time and space to:
- Remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and those affected by subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and during the ongoing atrocities in Darfur.
- Ensure that the historical events associated with the Holocaust continue to be regarded as being of fundamental importance.
- Raise awareness and understanding of the events of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides as a continuing issue for all humanity, based on a recognition that it could happen again anywhere and at any time, unless we ensure that our society opposes discrimination, persecution and racism.
- Highlight the values of a society which respects and celebrates the differences between individuals and communities, based upon the notion of universal dignity and equal rights and responsibilities for all its citizens.
Holocaust Memorial Day is for everyone. It’s also an opportunity for groups or organisations to remember the past and commit to creating a better future, and it can be commemorated individually or collectively.