Hackney hears from Rabbis and survivors for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Holocaust Memorial Day in Hackney 2021

Top left: Rabbi Herschel Gluck, top right: Hackney speaker Cllr Kam Adams. Bottom left: Bergen-Belsen survivor Zahava Kohn and her daughter Hephzibah Rudofsky, bottom right: Ivor Millman, chair of the Council of Christians and Jews (CJJ) North London Branch. - Credit: Hackney Council

Holocaust survivors shared their stories in an online memorial event to remember the atrocities committed under the Nazi regime and in genocides around the world.

The Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 service on January 27 saw Hackney speaker Cllr Kam Adams light a candle and place a floral wreath by the Town Hall with Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville.

Presentations by Haggerston and Urswick schools were heard and Rabbi Herschel Gluck, president of Shomrim, spoke of his parents, who were refugees.

Rabbi Gluck’s father was one of the British soldiers who liberated the Bergen-Belsen camp, while his mother helped refugees rebuild their lives after 1945.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Rabbi Herschel Gluck, president of Shomrim. - Credit: Hackney Council

He said: “The situation in Bergen-Belsen was beyond anyone’s imagination. Hell on earth. The survivors found it very difficult to re-establish their lives. My father felt that one of the greatest services that he had done in his life was to help these survivors resurrect their lives, to get their self-respect back, to find jobs, to rejoin humanity.

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“Today we face a dark time as well. Not as dark as during the Holocaust, but dark enough."

There was a presentation on hero of the Holocaust Rabbi Dr Solomon Schonfeld, which told the stories of the wartime experiences of refugees Lili Stern-Pohlmann MBE and Berta Klipstein.

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Viewers also heard from Bergen-Belsen survivor Zahava Kohn and her daughter Hephzibah Rudofsky.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Rosy, Zahava Kohn and Zahava's daughter Hephzibah Rudofsky. - Credit: Hackney Council

The memorial was also attended by Det Ch Supt Marcus Barnett; Cmdr and Supt Andy Port; and Lieutenant Colonel Roderick Morriss, the Queen’s representative to Hackney.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Cmdr and Supt Andy Port. - Credit: Hackney Council

Holocaust Memorial Day in Hackney 2021

Lieutenant Colonel Roderick Morriss, the Queen’s representative to Hackney. - Credit: Hackney Council

Supt Port spoke of a ”strong partnership response” which helped to identify the perpetrator of antisemitic graffiti in Stamford Hill.

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 was "be the light in the darkness".

Hackney South and Shoreditch MP Meg Hillier said: “I’m challenging you to be the light in the darkness. When you next hear a casual racist, sexist or homophobic comment – challenge it.

"When you see someone being unfairly treated because of who they are – challenge it. And where you see violence or aggression – challenge it, if it is safe to do so. You can be the beacon of hope, the beacon of fairness, honesty and antiviolence."

Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Hackney South and Shoreditch MP Meg Hillier. - Credit: Hackney Council

Mayor Glanville added: "In standing together in Hackney, we must always seek to do what we can to condemn antisemitism in all its forms and pledge to tackle division and the spread of identity-based hostility."

Watch the ceremony at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvuwtvVOANE.

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