This year Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations will focus on the theme ‘Stand Together’, and will focus on how genocidal regime throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups. Today there is increasing division in communities across the UK and the world. Now more than ever, we need to stand together with others in our communities in order to stop division and the spread of identity-based hostility in our society.

An exhibition of posters and artwork will be showcased in the Winter Gardens from Monday January 20 – 27. The Vigil will take place on Monday 27 January in the Winter Gardens, 5.45pm – 7pm.

The Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure, Mary Lea, will lead the vigil in a reflection after the lighting of candles. The vigil will feature a series of poems, readings and music from speakers including: Howard Saffer, Chair of Sheffield & District Reform Jewish Congregation, Debbie Sunday & Andrew Crookes of Disability Sheffield, Rabbi Golomb of Sheffield Jewish Orthodox Community, Steve Slack of Sayit, Shahida Siddique of Faithstar and local school children from Hillsborough and High Storrs School.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure said:

“It’s important that all those who call Sheffield their home come together this Holocaust Memorial Day to remember the lives and bravery of those who were persecuted in the Holocaust, and subsequent genocides, and to pay tribute to the survivors.”

“This year’s subject is ‘Stand Together’. “It is important to reflect on what this means in the context of the Holocaust. Stand Together immediately makes you think of the need for unity, and the coming together across the city of people from different faiths, communities, cultures and experiences. Tragically, many people are still facing oppression and are forcibly being separated from family, friends and wider-society because of persecution and war.”

“It’s more important than ever, we stand together with all those in our communities to stop discrimination, hatred and the isolation of people in our society.”

“HMD 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz – this is a significant milestone and is made particularly poignant by the dwindling number of survivors who are able to share their testimony. It also marks the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Bosnia. It is important that we take time to remember and reflect on the events of the past.”

“As we can see across the world many people are isolated and marginalised under duress and by necessity have to seek support and safety far from their homes, likely never to return and often unsure where they will end up. I am proud to be a part of our city that led the way as the first City of Sanctuary in the UK, we must continue to be warmly welcoming and supporting to those in their most desperate time of need.”