A special exhibition is to be held this year in the heart of Liverpool City Centre to raise awareness about the Holocaust.
Holocaust Remembrance Day take place on 27 January each year. The date has been chosen as it marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945 with this year being its the 70th anniversary and is therefore a special event
For the past twelve years “Fathers House”, a Christian congregation based in Deeside, has been remembering the Holocaust in a unique way. They have been exhibiting in shopping centres in Wrexham and Mold and taking out questionnaires to shoppers to ask about their recollection and understanding of Holocaust.
This year they are bringing their exhibition to the Quaker meeting House, 22 School Lane Liverpool 1 on Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 January between 10am and 4pm and will be going out to meet shoppers to ask what they understand about the Holocaust and to raise awareness about this terrible stain on humanity. Shoppers will be invited back to the exhibition to learn more and it is hoped that many others will also visit the exhibition.
The Pastor of Fathers House. Pastor Mike Fryer who graduated in Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum Jerusalem in 2009, said that the questionnaires have revealed that many of those surveyed by his team had little or no knowledge of Holocaust. He said: “Before the early 1990’s Holocaust was not a subject schools taught to their students and ,therefore, there are those in our society who don’t really understand the suffering of those six million Jews who were murdered during the years of the Second World War. There’s even less understanding about those who survived but who lost their families, homes and possessions and today still live with the haunting memories of the persecution the Jewish community of Europe faced. ”
Pastor Fryer said the murder of the Jews of Europe by shooting and gassing was the result of the teaching of hatred over hundreds of years by not only the Nazis but many leaders in the Church and this teaching of hatred turned ordinary men and women into mass murderers and volunteer executioners. “We have to teach and raise awareness about Holocaust to prevent attitudes of hatred towards any members of our communities developing into violent and murderous actions as we have seen in Paris recently.”
He said during the second World War there was a prison camp in Huyton for many Jews who fled from Germany and Austria before the war and they were supported by the people of Liverpool. He says that for this reason and the fact that Liverpool people have a history of embracing the Jewish community is a great place remember the liberation of European Jewry in this 70year.
The team from Fathers House have been working alongside Councillor Jeremy Wolfson in organising the Liverpool event. Councillor Wolfson said: “This anniversary is an opportunity for us to reflect on the Holocaust and raise awareness not only of what happened but to try and ensure that the attitudes which led to it are not repeated. Unfortunately we have seen recently how there are still people who are prepared to perpetuate hatred towards communities throughout the world. By taking this exhibition into the city centre where there are thousands of people passing by we hope we will be able to generate a greater understanding of what happened during the Holocaust and how we can work to prevent such hatred reoccurring.”
• A service will take place at Liverpool Town Hall to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day which as well as the Holocaust, also commemorates genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur