Search

Hackney tribute to victims of Holocaust and world genocide

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 January 2015

Speaker of Hackney, Councillor Sharon Patrick (centre) prepares to lay a wreath at Hackney Holocaust memorial outside at Hackney Town Hall

Speaker of Hackney, Councillor Sharon Patrick (centre) prepares to lay a wreath at Hackney Holocaust memorial outside at Hackney Town Hall

Archant

More than 100 people, including a Holocaust survivor, paid their respects to those that lost their lives and suffered under the Nazi regime, as well as in other genocides around the world.

Holocaust survivor, Hannah Brief speaks at Hackney Holocaust memorial service at Hackney Town HallHolocaust survivor, Hannah Brief speaks at Hackney Holocaust memorial service at Hackney Town Hall

This year’s ceremony, at Hackney Town Hall on Tuesday, coincided with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, the largest Nazi death camp.

Speakers included 73-year-old Hannah Brief of Stoke Newington, who told her incredible story of survival after being captured by Nazis and taken to Stutthof concentration camp with her mother and siblings.

The prison in Poland claimed the lives of 80,000 people who were murdered, gassed, worked to death or who died of disease.

Ms Brief recalled having to eat grass and rotten potatoes and how her mother was put to “back-breaking” work, tree-felling with other prisoners.

Encouraging people to live in peace, she said: “We are one, mankind, and we all have different potentials. Like an orchestra with different instruments and players, we can’t harmonise on our own, but when we play together, it works.”

She also remembered how after surviving two more death camps – including Theirenstadt, the setting of a Nazi propaganda film – she was rescued by Soviet Forces and brought to Stoke Newington with her brother.

Luke Fisher, a Mossbourne Academy pupil who recently visited Auschwitz, said: “This had been the scariest, worst place in the world. Just because [the prisoners] had their individualism snatched from them, we can’t forget them.”

The service also featured traditional Jewish music, songs by the Year 6 choir of Simon Marks Primary School in Cazenove Road and a reading by Mossbourne student Eri Okoye.

Hackney Council’s speaker, Sharon Patrick, who laid a floral tribute, said: “We pause to reflect on what can happen when racism, prejudice and evil propaganda are left unchallenged.”.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Hackney Gazette