International Holocaust Memorial Day: Hackney remembers victims and survivors of genocide

Mayor of Hackney Phil Glanville speaking on Holocaust Memorial Day. Picture: Hackney Council/ Gary M

The usual planned assembly for International Holocaust Memorial Day was cancelled during the pandemic - Credit: hackney council

A video featuring Hackney community leaders has been released in tribute to victims of the Holocaust and other genocides.

Hackney Council made the short film to commemorate this year's International Holocaust Memorial Day today (January 27).

As well as community leaders, it features music by the East London School of Music. 

Due to the pandemic, the decision was taken by the mayor of Hackney and speaker to cancel the planned assembly in the council chamber. 

Instead they will attend a small service to mark the day, and will lay a floral tribute at the Holocause Memorial Tree in the Town Hall Square. 

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, said: “The Holocaust threatened the fabric of civilisation. It showed how fragile and vulnerable the world we live in is.

"Although we aren’t able to gather in person this year, Holocaust Memorial Day is still an important day as it reminds us that prejudice and hate still exists in our society and must continue to be challenged by us all."

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The day of remembrance marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp.

The day of remembrance pays tribute to the six million Jewish people murdered during the Holocaust as well as a other victims and survivors of Nazi persecution and later genocides in countries like Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. 

The Urswick School head boy Augustine Kodom and head girl Chloe Chilvers with Mayor of Hackney Phil

The Urswick School head boy Augustine Kodom and head girl Chloe Chilvers with Mayor of Hackney Phil Glanville and Hackney Speaker Soraya Adejare, laying the wreath for Holocaust Memorial Day in 2018 - Credit: hackney council

This year’s memorial theme is “One Day”.

Cllr Michael Desmond, speaker of Hackney - the borough's ceremonial position, said: “On Holocaust Memorial Day we have the opportunity to both commemorate the survivors and honour those who were murdered and experienced unimaginable suffering as a result of Nazi persecution, and other atrocities.

"It is a moment to learn and reflect on the past, so that we can better empathise with others today, and be inspired to take action to create a future free from suffering, hate and tyranny."

The council is intends to consult residents about future Holocaust Memorial Day events and will start planning for Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 starting at the end of this summer.