Ashford Borough Council marks Holocaust Memorial Day

Published: 18/01/2023
Holocaust Memorial Day poster - image of lit candle on the right side

As a council we will once again be marking Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January 2023.

This was the date that Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp, was liberated in 1945. It is now the date that everyone remembers the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust under Nazi persecution, and in the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. On Holocaust Memorial Day we honour the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experiences to inform our lives today.

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2023 is Ordinary People. We are all ordinary people today who can be extraordinary in our actions. We can all make decisions to challenge prejudice, stand up to hatred, to speak out against identity-based persecution, to shop responsibly. Ordinary people are also the ones who drive Holocaust Memorial Day, who lead on community commemorations, who support and encourage everyone around them to take part in remembrance and education projects.

This year, the Mayor of Ashford Cllr Jenny Webb is inviting the public to join her for a short Service of Reflection on Friday 27 January at the Anne Frank Memorial Tree in Ashford’s Memorial Gardens. The Anne Frank Memorial Tree was planted on 11 June 1999 to commemorate Anne Frank and all those killed in wars and conflicts in the 20th century.

The service will begin at 11am and will include the laying of a posy and a moment of personal reflection. Afterwards attendees will be invited to join the Mayor to view the HMD Ordinary People exhibition in the nearby Ashford Gateway on Church Road.

For those unable to attend the service and view the exhibition on the day, the temporary HMD exhibition will be on display at the Ashford Gateway until 27 February. 

We encourage all communities in Ashford to mark the day, learning the lessons of the past and recognising that genocide does not take place on its own. It is a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented.

You can get involved by lighting a candle and putting it in your window at 4pm on 27 January. Please then upload a photo of your candle on social media, using the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay #HMDAshford.