Kirklees Council, in partnership with the Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre and 6 million+ Trust, are preparing events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day which takes place on Thursday January 27.
The theme for this year is ‘One Day’, inviting people to reflect but also to look forward to a better future together and to speak out about injustices, prejudices or identity-based violence.
Clr Shabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council, said: “These events help to honour all those who experienced, and were impacted by, the unthinkable horrors of the Holocaust, one of the cruellest campaigns in human history.
“We also reflect and remember all the innocent lives lost through subsequent genocides around the world since.
“The challenge today is to heed the lessons of history, so one day, we will be more understanding of each other.
“Whilst the pandemic may have created barriers, fear, suspicion and isolation it also shone a light on all that is good in our society with resilience, kindness, creativity and efforts to connect people. It is in this vain that we need to continue so one day we can live in peace, without fear of persecution.
“We can all stand in solidarity to look forward to a kinder future where difference is celebrated.”
On Wednesday January 26 there will be a procession of the seven Weeping Sisters – giant figures – through the streets of Huddersfield.
The procession sets off at 6.15pm from the Commercial Hotel and ends at the University of Huddersfield, where a commemorative – and free – event involving Holocaust survivor Liesel Carter, civic dignitaries, local school children and young people will take place.
The commemoration will be followed by a live performance of ‘Gideon Klein: Portrait of a Composer’, written by renowned musicologist Dr David Fligg, featuring Trio Klein and violinist Itamar Rashkovsky.
Marking Holocaust Memorial Day itself will be an online event at 11am. Included will be a film showcasing five stories of welcome experienced by Jewish refugees after the war as they made a new start in the UK.
The council, and other West Yorkshire authorities, contributed to the film which also features a special message from the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin.
You can join the online event at http://tiny.cc/6MillionPlus
The online event will also give everyone a taste of a series of seven special podcasts called ‘Conversations with the Weeping Sisters.’ They were created by 16 young people from a variety of cultures working with 6 million+ and radio producer Beth Parsons.
The recordings are based on imaginary conversations with the Weeping Sisters characters who are Jewish, Roma, Burundian, Bosnian, Kurdish, German and Syrian.