Victims and survivors of the holocaust and other genocides will be remembered at a special ceremony organised by Bradford Council on Tuesday, 27 January at the Banqueting Suite, City Hall,

Holocaust-memorial-dayHolocaust Memorial Day will be marked at similar events across the world.

Denise Poole, Chaplain to the Bishop of Bradford will lead over 100 representatives from Bradford’s communities in the annual ceremony held in Bradford’s City Hall.

Lord Mayor, Coun Mike Gibbons will light candles and bear witness at the event along with Leader of Bradford Council, Coun David Green and the authority’s acting Chief Executive Officer, Suzan Hemingway.

Representatives of Bradford’s Jewish community, Central and Eastern European communities, Gypsies, disabled people, faith groups, trade unions, modern day genocides, gay, lesbian and bisexual groups will also light candles and pledge to never forget the holocaust nor forget its lessons.

They will be joined by representatives of Ukrainian Holodomor famine and Bosnian Srebrenica genocide victims, second generation relatives of victims and children who were hidden during the holocaust.

Local young people will light candles on behalf of all child victims of genocide.

Bradford Council Leader, Coun David Green, will speak about this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme, ‘Keep the memory alive’. 

Guest speaker, Regional Ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust and Bradford University student, Orianne Brown will talk about her plans to maintain awareness of the Holocaust. 

Paris Tyrell, a student from Dixons City Academy, will read her poem, Life for the Different.

Catherine Benson, widow of the late Bradford poet laureate, Gerard Benson, will read a poem specially written for Holocaust Memorial Day and Community Pride, a published poem by her late husband.

To close the ceremony, Rudi Leavor, chairman of the Bradford Synagogue, will sing Jewish mourning song, El Male Rachamim.

Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides. Tragically, the Holocaust was a defining episode of the 20th century.

Survivors will be the heart of Holocaust Memorial Day activities and will share memories of their lives before, during and after genocides.

People who have no direct experience of genocide are being asked to remember those who were murdered and to honour survivors.

Bradford’s Lord Mayor, Coun Mike Gibbons, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day offers people the opportunity to stand together and remember the atrocities committed during the genocides.

“It is important we understand how and why genocide is perpetrated so we can do everything possible to prevent it ever happening again.” 

Coun David Green, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “We must never forget the depth of human suffering caused by the Holocaust and modern genocides. 

“Genocide doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process which begins when the differences between people are used as a basis for discrimination, marginalisation or exclusion.

“By remembering these tragic episodes in history and speaking out against prejudice and hate, we can reduce the chances of these terrible crimes ever happening again.”