A poignant candlelit vigil will be held to remember the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and how the tragedies survivors faced inspired them to come to the UK.
A candlelit memorial ceremony will be held in the Winter Garden on Holocaust Memorial Day, Monday 27 January, from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. The service will include readings which reflect this year’s theme of ‘journeys’ and how survivors came to the UK to rebuild their lives.
There will be readings from representatives from the Sheffield and District Reform Jewish Congregation, the Sheffield Jewish Orthodox Community and Partners for Inclusion. The Side By Side drama group and Out Aloud choir will perform and Silverdale School pupil Almaas Rafique will read a poem. Sue Pearson, a retired Sheffield school teacher, will also be talking about being a Kindertransportee of Nicholas Winton, who helped her and hundreds of other Jewish children escape Nazi persecution at the onset of the World War Two in Czechoslovakia in 1939.
The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Vickie Priestley, will be attending the event alongside other dignitaries from across the city. She said:
“The survivors of the Holocaust have shown us through their experiences and accounts how we can learn from these horrendous events. As well as speaking of their pain and loss, strength, survival and despair, their wish is to leave a legacy of hope.
That’s what we all need to remember and reflect upon in founding a future free of persecution and exclusion. I hope as many people as possible will join me at the Winter Garden to light a candle and mark what is such an important day across the world.”
Holocaust Memorial Day is marked every year on 27 January – the anniversary of the date the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated in World War Two.
Prior to the candlelit service there will also be a selection of short films to view in the activities room at the Millennium Galleries. The films will include Learning from The Past, which shows why we commemorate the Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
There will also be films showing the personal accounts of survivors such as Appolinaire Kageruka, 44, who describes how he witnessed the aftermath of the murder of thousands of people in a church in Rwanda. The films will be shown on a continual loop between 1pm and 5pm and is free and open to all.
The Showroom Cinema, on Paternoster Row, will be screening Hannah Arendt, a film about the the influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist who reported on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann for the New Yorker.