Monthly Archives - January 2016

Why we must remember the Holocaust

The memory of the Holocaust always fills me with a great sadness at the thought of the immense cruelty and grave injustice from one nation to another over many years. I feel sadder still for the children and grandchildren of the victims of the Holocaust because of the memories of such injustice that they have to live with.

HMDcandle_copyright_AnishKapoor_2014_zpsf2e567c1The question I often ask, and it has been asked before is: “Lord, where were you when your children were suffering?” The only answer I receive is that God was there suffering with them.

As a member of the Bristol HMD Steering Group who has attended many meetings in preparation for the annual civic commemoration on Holocaust Memorial Day, this passage expresses the way I feel about what happened:

“The Holocaust showed the depths that humanity can descend to, the power of evil to rule the world and the degree of hatred against the Jews.   Hitler had a plan and his plan was to eliminate all Jews in the ‘Final Solution.’ ”

The best estimate is that between 15 to 20 million people were imprisoned and died in sites controlled by the German State throughout the European Continent; these people were tortured and waiting to be killed in the most atrocious way. It is so sad that there was not much help from other countries. Auschwitz survivor and Nobel peace prize winner Elie Wiesel* once said: “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”

We will never be able to understand fully and feel the horror and cruelty of the Holocaust but we must put all our efforts into keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive and pray for a better world.

* When Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a “messenger to mankind,” stating that through his struggle to come to terms with “his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler’s death camps”, as well as his “practical work in the cause of peace”, Wiesel had delivered a powerful message “of peace, atonement and human dignity” to humanity.

This article was kindly submitted by Marie Hackett


Prince of Wales to become Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Patron

Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales will succeed The Queen as Patron of The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. The news comes as The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust prepares to mark the international Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday 27th January. The theme for this year’s event is “Don’t Stand By“.

The official Holocaust Memorial Day website states:

HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is delighted to announce that The Prince of Wales will succeed The Queen as its Patron. By continuing the charity’s Royal Patronage, His Royal Highness has formalised the support and interest which he has already demonstrated for the work of the charity, as well as the work of organisations that support survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is hugely grateful to Her Majesty for her work as Patron since its inception 10 years ago. During 2015, a significant anniversary year, The Queen visited Bergen-Belsen where she met survivors and liberators of that concentration camp and hosted Holocaust survivors at her Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace in honour of their contributions to Holocaust commemoration in the UK.

The Prince of Wales has a longstanding relationship with the Jewish community and a dedication to remembering those affected by the Holocaust.

The Prince, accompanied by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, attended the official Holocaust Memorial Day UK Commemorative Ceremony in 2015, marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Speaking at the ceremony, His Royal Highness said: ‘The Holocaust is an unparalleled human tragedy and an act of evil unique  in history and it is for these reasons that we must always remember it and honour its Jewish victims and the Nazis’ other victims.

…The memory of this suffering and the unspeakable, yet almost incredible, details of the Nazis’ diabolical enterprise can help future generations, wherever they may be, understand not just what happened across Europe, but how this came to happen.’

His Royal Highness has also hosted and attended numerous Kindertransport events, including the 75th anniversary of the Kindertransport in 2013. His Royal Highness was also the first member of the Royal Family to attend the installation of the Chief Rabbi, attending the ceremony for Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis at St John’s Wood Synagogue in North London in 2013.

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is the charity, supported by the UK Government, that promotes and supports Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK.

Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated each year on 27 January, and is an opportunity for everybody to reflect on the Holocaust, all forms of Nazi persecution, and the subsequent genocides that took place in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said:

‘We are honoured that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has chosen to accept our invitation to succeed The Queen as Patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. Survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides are hugely appreciative of The Royal Family’s recognition of the importance of commemorating the dreadful persecution which they endured.’