Holocaust Memorial Day along with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz is being commemorated today along the East London line boroughs.
Each borough’s council will invite their residents to remember those who suffered during the Nazi killing regime under the theme ‘Keep the Memory Alive.’
In Hackney, a service of song, candle lighting and readings will take place in the Town Hall. Afterwards, Councillor Sharon Patrick will lay a floral tribute at the Holocaust Memorial Tree in the Town Hall Square.
Councillor Patrick said: “It is particularly appropriate that this year’s theme is all about memory. The theme enables survivors to be at the heart of Holocaust Memorial Day. It also allows us to remember those terrible events of the past and learn lessons for our future to ensure past evils are not repeated.”
A public candle lighting ceremony will be held at 12am just inside the entrance of the Town Hall. Local schools and speakers will also be performing in the Council Chamber. The keynote will be Lord Alf Dubs, who fled from Prague, aged six, with his father as Hitler’s forces marched into the Czech capital.
On Saturday, Rusking House, in Croydon, will hold a concert dedicated to holocaust victims with international music from Klezmerco, a Jewish folk musician, Slavyanya – a Russian children’s choir, dance group Red Mamaloshen and The International Men of Mystery.
An interfaith service will be held at Nelson Street Synagogue in Whitechapel on Sunday from 3pm.
The Jewish East End Celebration Society has also organised a free-guided walk, and other self-guided walks can be found here.
The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “Tower Hamlets is proud of its cohesive and harmonious borough. Tower Hamlets will never tolerate hate groups here. Holocaust Memorial Day reminds us of the importance of a tolerant society.”
Lewisham’s Council will commemorate the event, starting at 3pm, with music, dance and a drama production performed by students from across the borough.
Goldsmiths University will also hold its own memorial service to remember the genocide. Programmes on the day include recitation of poetry and memoirs, a traditional memorial player performed by a Cantor and a choir. Guest speaker Steve Bullock, Major of Lewisham will be amongst the invitees. The event will take place at the Great Hall of the Richard Hoggart Building from 1-2 pm. Doors are open to all staff, students and members of the public.
By Irene Lezertua and Gehan Bashumailah