Lord Mayor to lead Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations

By on 20/01/2015 in News

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham will be leading this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations in the city on Sunday, January 25.

Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecutions, as well as other genocides around the world.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Keep the Memory Alive’, which is particularly fitting given that 2015 also marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia.

The ceremony will be held at Birmingham Town Hall, starting at 2pm, although doors will open at 1.30pm to enable members of the public to light a candle of remembrance. Admission is free.

The two-hour programme will include individual testimonies, candle lighting, films, poems, prayers and music. There will be testimonies from survivors, including a film and a talk by a Srebrenica survivor, and specially commissioned pieces from Birmingham’s Poet Laureate, Adrian Blackledge, and Young Poet Laureate, Serena Arthur.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau liberation, sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor has been commissioned to design and create 70 special candles to be distributed to 70 venues across the UK, including Birmingham. The candle at the Birmingham ceremony will be lit by Auschwitz survivor Mindu Hornick.

Lord Mayor Cllr Shafique Shah, who will be leading the ceremony, said: “This is a significant opportunity to learn lessons from the past and apply them to the present day to create a safer, better future for everyone.

“I myself will be lighting a candle of remembrance of the victims of atrocities and genocides around the world and for those who are still losing their lives today through war, conflict and crimes of hate. I hope that as many people as possible will join me.â€

-ENDS-

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