A poignant service was held in St Helens town hall last Friday (26 January) to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2018.
Held every year, Holocaust Memorial Day falls on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and is a time to remember the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust; as well as the millions of others killed in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.
The town hall event saw pupils from the borough’s schools perform musical and dance pieces, and recite readings based on this year’s theme ‘The Power of Words’ in front of a packed audience, with the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens; the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mr Mark Blundell; St Helens Council Leader Barrie Grunewald; St Helens MP, Marie Rimmer CBE; and councillors Geoff Pearl and Gill Neal, among those in attendance.
Speaking after the ceremony, St Helens Council Leader Barrie Grunewald said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is about remembering the victims and those whose lives have been changed beyond recognition by the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and atrocities still going on throughout the world today.
“It is an opportunity for all the diverse strands of our communities to come together to honour the survivors, but it’s also a chance to look to our own lives and communities today.”
Continuing the Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations in St Helens, throughout this week, residents can view the hugely popular ‘Rescues of the Holocaust: Remembering Raoul Wallenberg and Lives Saved’ exhibition which is on loan at Haydock Library from one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust, the Wiener Library.
The exhibition will be on display until 12pm this Friday (2 February).