Published on 19th January 2017

holocaust memorial day logo

An Act of Remembrance will be held at the Municipal Offices at 6.30pm on Thursday 26 January to mark national Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD).

The event takes place every year, on the day of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp in 1945. 

The theme this year is ‘How can life go on?’ and is an opportunity to think about what happens after genocide and of our own responsibilities in the wake of such a crime.

The theme also encourages reflection on what we can all do to help those who have survived genocide, as well as those from persecuted groups and those who face hate and marginalisation. HMD is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own, but is a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented.

The Act of Remembrance will commence at 6.30pm in the Council Chamber and will include the stories of individuals with a connection to Cheltenham who fled persecution and survived and will look at how their lives went on and what impact the trauma they suffered had on them. 

There will be tea and coffee afterwards and an opportunity to view an exhibition of materials relating to the theme, compiled by Dr Steven Blake.

The Act of Remembrance has been organised by Cheltenham Hebrew Congregation, Gloucestershire Liberal Jewish Community and Cheltenham Borough Council, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Jennifer Silverston from the Cheltenham Hebrew Congregation said: “This is an important event as it helps to remind people of how these terrible crimes come about and to be vigilant for and intolerant of discrimination, stereotyping and victimisation.”

Jill Rosenheim from the Gloucestershire Liberal Jewish Community said: “The event this year will explore how life did go on for people who fled persecution and who have links to Cheltenham. It will be moving and thought provoking to learn about how the trauma impacted on their later lives, their families and their communities.”

Helen Down from Cheltenham Borough Council said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an important event and a time to remember all of the genocides that have impacted on our communities.”

For press enquiries contact: Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154 or email: [email protected]