Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 media release

Published: 14/01/2021
News article entitled Marking Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

As a council we will once again be marking Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January 2021. This year’s commemoration will be virtual, to comply with the continuing coronavirus lockdown.

The theme for HMD in 2021 is Be the Light in the Darkness. This encourages everyone to reflect on the depths that humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.

To mark the day, there will be a virtual ceremony including the Mayor’s Chaplain and the Portfolio Holder and Deputy Portfolio Holder for Culture, Tourism and Leisure. This will be available to view on a dedicated section on the website which will also include a virtual exhibition exploring this year’s theme. A posy will also be laid at the Anne Frank tree in the Memorial Gardens.

You will be able to get involved as the Victoria Park team are putting together some tutorial videos on how to create your own special HMD lantern. You can light a candle and put it in your window at 8pm on 27 January then upload a photo of your candle on social media, using the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay #LightintheDarkness #HMDAshford.  There will be a link online for anyone who wants to make a donation to the Holocaust Memorial Trust.

Cllr Matthew Forest, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Tourism and Leisure, said: “It is important to mark Holocaust Memorial Day every year so we do not forget the horrors of past genocides. While we are not at immediate risk of genocide in the UK, it is a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented. We remember those who were murdered in the Holocaust under Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. We also honour the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use their experience to inform our lives today.”

The day is commemorated on the anniversary of the date that Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp, was liberated in 1945.

Every year thousands of people come together across the UK 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.