By Leah Conway –
Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January. Each year on an international scale, the histories of genocide are remembered. It is a day where people reflect on past atrocities but also look to the future and speak about challenging injustice and prejudice for a better future.
The date, 27 January, marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
Check out our video from 2020:
Holocaust Memorial Day in Kirklees
This year Kirklees Council, Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre and 6 million+ Trust have collaborated to prepare local events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. On Wednesday, 26 January, there will be a Parade of The Weeping Sisters, and on Thursday, 27 January, there will be an online event marking Holocaust Memorial Day.
Parade of The Weeping Sisters
The procession sees the seven Weeping Sisters – giants figures – through Huddersfield town centre. The parade will reflect the grief of women for the Holocaust and other genocides.
The process runs from The Commercial Hotel (New Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2BW) at 6:15 pm and finishes at the University of Huddersfield’s Oastler Building. Once the procession is over, the University of Huddersfield hosts a commemorative event at 7 pm. The event includes talk, music, memorial candle lighting, artwork, and a talk from Liesel Cater, a holocaust survivor and will hear her experiences of fleeing persecution as a child refugee.
There will also be a live performance of Gideon Klein: Portrait of a Composer’, written by musicologist Dr David Fligg and will feature Trio Klein and violinist Itamar Rashkovsky.
The event is free, but you need to book your space before the event. Click here to book your place
Marking Holocaust Memorial Day
On 27 January, there will be an online event to mark the commemorative day. The online event is at 11:00 am.
The online event will showcase five stories of Jewish refugees experiences coming to the UK and making a new start after the war.
The event is organised by Kirklees Council, other West Yorkshire authorities, and a special message from the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin.
The event shows a glimpse of the future podcast project called Conversations with the Weeping Sisters’. The podcasts were created by 16 young people working with 6 million + and radio producer Beth Parsons. The episodes explore imaginary conversations with the Weeping Sisters characters who are Jewish, Roma, Burundian, Bosnian, Kurdish, German and Syrian. Join us at this online event
Check out our video on Yom HaShoah:
“Stand in solidarity”
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “These events help to honour all those who experienced, and were impacted by, the unthinkable horrors of the Holocaust. One of the cruellest campaigns in human history.
“We also reflect and remember all the innocent lives lost through subsequent genocides around the world since.
“The challenge today is to heed the lessons of history, so one day, we will be more understanding of each other.
“Whilst the pandemic may have created barriers, fear, suspicion and isolation. It also shone a light on all that is good in our society with resilience, kindness, creativity and efforts to connect people. It is in this vain that we need to continue so one day we can live in peace, without fear of persecution.
“We can all stand in solidarity to look forward to a kinder future where difference is celebrated.”
There are also events going on across the world, the nation and across West Yorkshire. Other local events include memorial events in Calderdale, Mirfield, Leeds, Halifax, Bradford and more. You can check out the details on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website.
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