Holocaust Memorial Day 27 January 2016

Millions of victims of the Holocaust as well as subsequent genocides will be remembered at a series of events this week, as Plymouth City Council passes a motion to both remember the Holocaust and condemn unfair discrimination.

A number of events are happening across the city this week in remembrance of the Holocaust, offering support and speakers for school assemblies related to Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) and Holocaust education. A ceremony of remembrance will be taking place at The Orangery, Mount Edgcumbe, on Wednesday 27 January at 11am, attended by Lord Mayor, Councillor Dr John Mahoney.

The ceremony which will see the Lord Mayor, Faith Leaders and Plymouth’s Young City Laureate to attend and each offer a reflection of the Holocaust Memorial Day. At the conclusion, those who would like to are invited to the English Garden where flowers will be laid at the foot of the Holocaust Memorial Tree, an evergreen oak in the formal English Garden.

In addition, Solly Irving, a Jewish holocaust survivor, from London, will be visiting Plymouth secondary schools and Colleges to share his personal story over a four day period. It is estimated that Solly has now spoken to nearly 30.000 students over the 15 times he has visited Plymouth. The talk will take place on Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January) at the Jill Craigie Lecture Theatre, Roland Levinsky Building in Plymouth University. Although his school talks will not be open to the public, all are welcome to attend this evening event. All the Holocaust Memorial Day events have been organised  by the Plymouth Centre for Faiths and Cultural Diversity.

Councillor Philippa Davey, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities for Plymouth City Council, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an annual chance for us all to remember the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. It gives us the chance to all pay tribute to those who survived and to ensure we re are vigilant about what can happen if prejudice, discrimination and hatred go unchallenged.

“It is all too easy to consign this horror to history in the hope that it will never happen again. We all have a part to play in making sure discrimination against any group in our society does not happen. That is why we as a Council have passed a motion to ensure we do all we can to combat discrimination and hate.”

The Council at its meeting on Monday 25 January 2016 has also passed a motion resolving to:

  1. Promote the importance of Holocaust Memorial Day and other annual events which take a stand against genocide, anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and hate crime.
  2. Continue our development and promotion of Plymouth as a welcoming and inclusive City.
  3. Condemn unfair discrimination against anyone – residents, visitors and new comers including refugees we have recently welcomed to Plymouth.
  4. Foster a shared relationship to create a better present and future for all by challenging the prejudiced views of a minority of people in our society who believe that race, religion, disability or sexuality makes some people’s lives worth less than others.

For more information on Holocaust Memorial Day, contact Plymouth Centre for Faiths and Cultural Diversity on 01752 254438 or email projects@pcfd.co.uk