Friday, 27 January 2012

Remembering the Holocaust in Solihull

Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Irene Chamberlain and her Escort Robert Chamberlain (centre) with Holocaust survivor Dr Martin Stern (left), Chief Superintendent Sally Bourner and Rabbi Yehuda Pink at this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day in Solihull.
Over 150 residents and school children attended a service of remembrance to mark National Holocaust Memorial Day on Thursday morning, 26 January, at Solihull Central Library.

This service honoured the survivors and marks the tragic loss of life in the genocides of World War II and more recently in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) falls on the anniversary of the liberation of the largest Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland. This year marks the 67th anniversary of that day.

The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Irene Chamberlain, officially opened the Solihull Partnership event, alongside Chief Superintendent Sally Bourner from West Midlands Police.

Guest speaker, Holocaust survivor Dr Martin Stern, presented an emotional speech at the event about the horrors he experienced as a young child during the Holocaust. Following the service Dr Stern shared many other personal stories with children from local schools including the importance of standing up to hatred.

There were also poetry readings by some of the children, and prayers led by Rabbi Yehuda Pink, leader of Solihull Hebrew Congregation based in Olton. The service was concluded by a one-minute silence and the signing of a Commemoration Book.

Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Irene Chamberlain, says: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity to remember those who died or had their lives shattered by genocide, and reflect upon the lessons from the past. This year’s theme, Speak Up Speak Out, encourages us all to play our part in stamping out prejudice, hatred and fear. We must strive to make a world where understanding and respect for others replaces one of aggression and discrimination,” adds Councillor Chamberlain.

For more information on Holocaust Memorial Day visit http://www.hmd.org.uk/

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