Service to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Erica Kemp CBE will join Assistant Mayor Councillor Ann O’Byrne and faith leaders this week – Tuesday 27 January – in a special service to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

On Tuesday 27 January, wreaths will be laid at the memorial stone in St John’s Gardens in memory of all victims of persecution before a special service at Liverpool Town Hall, which will also be attended by civic and faith representatives as well as members of the local community.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Berkenau and also the 20th anniversary of the Genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and is therefore particularly appropriate that the theme for this major anniversary year focuses on memory

Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Erica Kemp CBE said: “Holocaust Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to remember the millions of people killed in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

“We must also acknowledge that persecution, discrimination, racism and hatred still take place in society today and that it is our responsibility to educate younger generations in order to help build a safer, more understanding future.

“I hope that everyone involved in today’s service takes the opportunity for some quiet reflection and to remember and honour those who survived these atrocities.

“Their stories are the ones we must listen to, only by learning from the past can we begin to create a better future.”

Rabbi Mordechai Wollenberg will join Lord Mayor of Liverpool in lighting a memorial candle, this will be followed by prayers and songs led by King David High School Choir.

As part of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust created 70 commemorative candles which the holders of national events were invited to apply for.

Liverpool was awarded one of these candles and marked the 69 days in the lead up to Holocaust Memorial Day 2015 by lighting a small candle each day in memory of one of the 6 million Jews lost in the Holocaust. In this way the Town Hall participated in Yad Vashem UK’s ‘The Guardian of the Memory’ project which aimed for every one of the 6 million to be remembered by an individual.

We also invited members of the community to come into the Town Hall each day, to light a candle in memory of a victim and take ownership of that person for each Holocaust Memorial Day.

Current President of the Merseyside Jewish Representative Council, Professor Julian Verbov JP and his wife, Former President, Mrs Hazel Verbov, whose father Army Chaplain, Reverend Leslie Hardman was present at the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, will light the 70th candle as part of this Service.