Plymouth marks Holocaust Memorial Day 27 January 2017

Millions of victims of the Holocaust as well as subsequent genocides will be remembered at the Holocaust Memorial Tree, as Plymouth City Council considers a cross-party motion to remember the Holocaust, educate young people, and take a stand against hate crime.

On Holocaust Memorial Day, Friday 27 January, Lord Mayor of Plymouth Councillor Pauline Murphy will attend a gathering at the Holocaust Memorial Tree at the English Garden, Mount Edgcumbe at 11am. The event is open to everyone who wishes to attend and pay their respects.

Councillor Dave Downie, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities, said:  “Holocaust Memorial Day is an annual opportunity for us all to remember the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The day marks the anniversary of when in 1945 the notorious death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau was finally liberated and the true scale of what became known as the Holocaust, was recognised.

“Holocaust Memorial Day remembers the six million Jewish men, women and children who died in ghettos, mass-shootings, and concentration camps before any survivors were liberated by allied troops in 1945. Gypsies and Travellers, gay men, lesbians and disabled people were also persecuted by the Nazis.

“It is also a chance for us to reflect on the subsequent genocides in Cambodia,  Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo, in regions like Darfur and Nineveh and in the cities of Aleppo, Srebrenica and Halabja. It also gives us the chance to pay tribute to those who survived and to ensure we remain aware of what can happen if prejudice, discrimination and hatred go unchallenged.

“Over a thousand events will be taking place around the UK on Holocaust Memorial Day. We all have our part to play in making sure this does not happen again and to tackle discrimination against any group in our society. That is why we will be considering a cross party motion following Holocaust Memorial Day.”

At the Full Council meeting on Monday 30 January, Members of all parties will consider a motion that resolves to:

  1. Ensure the future commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day by making it an official event in the Civic Calendar.
  2. Work with the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) to ensure that schools are supported and encouraged to educate our young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today.
  3. Work with partners to promote Plymouth as a welcoming and inclusive city which takes a stand against anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and hate crimes.