GREATER Manchester residents were invited to join a virtual community service this week to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, and heard the testimonies of those who have lived through and been affected by the Shoah and other genocides.
The annual Holocaust Memorial Day service took place on Thursday 26 January. Faith and community leaders from across the city-region joined the service at Manchester Hall, which was livestreamed through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The service included readings from speakers including Holocaust survivor Ruth Lachs and pupils from Falinge Park High School, a Beacon school for Holocaust Education. There was performances from Cantor Charles Chait, as well as readings and prayers, and a minute’s silence led by Rabbi Daniel Walker from Heaton Park Hebrew Congregation.
Representatives from the Jewish Representative Council and Greater Manchester’s equality panels lit candles of remembrance for those whose lives were taken in the Holocaust and other genocides.
The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations was ‘Ordinary People’, in acknowledgement of the fact that ordinary people have been perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers, witnesses, and victims.
The theme also prompts us to consider how ordinary people might be able to play a bigger role in challenging prejudice and hatred today.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:
"Greater Manchester’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day service provides an opportunity for us all to reflect and remember the victims of the Holocaust, and all those whose lives were lost to genocide or changed irrevocably by atrocities around the world. I want to thank Ruth Lachs, members of our Jewish community, and others from across the city-region who joined us for this year’s service.
“Greater Manchester has a proud history of standing in defiance of hatred, and in solidarity with all those facing persecution and oppression. This is not just who we are, it’s what we do – and what we must continue to do whenever we encounter racism or any form of prejudice.”
Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the Holocaust and all those that endured and survived other genocides, including in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
The Greater Manchester Holocaust Memorial Day service was broadcast at 11:30pm Thursday 26 January on:
Article Published: 27/01/2023 12:59 PM