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Holocaust Memorial Day 2020

by Laura Johnston

27th January marks Holocaust Memorial Day, a national event to remember the six million Jewish people murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of others killed under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The date is especially significant in 2020 as it marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi concentration camps and also the 25th anniversary of the Bosnian genocide at Srebrenica in which more than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were killed.

To mark the date, Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, Cllr Jackie Harris, Mayor of Knowsley and Mike Harden, Chief Executive of Knowsley Council will raise the flag outside of Huyton Municipal Buildings as a mark of respect. The flag will also be raised outside the Kirkby Centre. Additionally, the Council will be asked to consider and approve Holocaust Memorial Statement of Commitment at a full council meeting on Wednesday 29th January.

The Holocaust Memorial Statement of Commitment:

  • We recognise that the Holocaust shook the foundations of modern civilisation. Its unprecedented character and horror will always hold universal meaning.
  • We believe the Holocaust must have a permanent place in our nation’s and community’s collective memory.  We honour the survivors still with us, and reaffirm our shared goals of mutual understanding and justice.
  • We must make sure that future generations understand the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its consequences.  We vow to remember the victims of Nazi persecution and of all genocides.
  • We value the sacrifices of those who have risked their lives to protect or rescue victims, as a touchstone of the human capacity for good in the face of evil.
  • We recognise that humanity is still scarred by the belief that race, religion, disability or sexuality make some people’s lives worth less than others’.  Genocide, antisemitism, racism, xenophobia and discrimination still continue.  We have a shared responsibility to fight these evils.
  • We pledge to strengthen our efforts to promote education and research about the Holocaust and other genocides.  We will do our utmost to make sure that the lessons of such events are fully learnt.
  • We will continue to encourage Holocaust remembrance by commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day through raising the flag on 27 January each year and a minute’s silence at the January meeting of Full Council.  We condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism.  We value a free, respectful, and democratic society.

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council said: “Now more than ever it is vital that we unite against hatred and persecution. Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity to reflect on past atrocities and come together to show our commitment to a peaceful society in which no-one faces prejudice, discrimination or racism.”