Ealing Council’s annual service to mark Holocaust Memorial Day will be held on Monday (27 January) at Brentside High School.
The mayor of Ealing, Councillor Dr Abdullah Gulaid, will be joined by council leader Julian Bell; Richard Kornicki, deputy lieutenant; the Reverend Dean Ayres, associate rector of Acton; as well as pupils and local dignitaries.
The service will focus on the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020, Stand Together. Where there is increasing division in communities across the UK and the world, the speeches and prayers will focus on the need to more than ever stand together with our neighbours and speak out against oppression.
Hans Danziger, kindertransport survivor, is the invited guest speaker and students of Brentside High School will read Holocaust pledges. During the prayers stones will be laid at the altar by students and the congregation will also be invited to lay stones.
Within the Jewish faith, it is customary to leave a small stone on the grave, placing the stone with the left hand. Placing a stone on the grave serves as a sign to others that someone has visited the grave. It also enables visitors to partake in the mitzvah tradition of commemorating the burial and the deceased. Stones are fitting symbols of the lasting presence of the deceased’s life and memory.
Victims of the Nazi’s holocaust as well as all the other victims of persecution, genocide and torture around the world, including those in Armenia, Assyria, Cambodia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Darfur will be remembered.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau – 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.
Councillor Bell said: “Holocaust Memorial Day reminds us of events in our recent history that continue to have an impact now on individuals, families and communities. And 2020 marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and 25 years since the Bosnian genocide, horrific events when communities were divided and didn’t stand together and challenge hatred and prejudice. At a time when we are more aware than ever of divisions in our communities, it is important that we do stand together, and we remember and bear witness for those that endured genocide and honour the survivors.”
Holocaust Memorial Day service – Monday 27 January 2020 at 11.30am.
Location: Brentside High School, Greenford Avenue, Hanwell W7
The service is open to members of the public who are welcome to attend, although seating is limited and is only available on a first-come basis. The service is expected to last for approximately one hour.