Posted: 16.01.21 at 06:00 by The Editor
People across Bath and North East Somerset are being encouraged to remember one of the deadliest and most vicious acts in modern history ever perpetrated on the human race by lighting a candle at home on 27th January at 8pm.
Wednesday 27th January is Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) and that date in 2021 marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland (the largest Nazi death camp) by Allied forces towards the end of the Second World War. HMD 2021 also marks the 26th anniversary of the Genocide in Bosnia.
Light the Darkness is the theme for the 2021 commemorations, which are coordinated nationally by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
This year’s district-wide HMD event-at-home is being coordinated by the Bath & North East Somerset Faith Foundation.
Nathan Hartley, Director of the Faith Foundation, said:
“Every year on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz extermination camp we remember the 6 million Jewish children, women and men murdered by the genocidal Nazi regime.
This year’s theme, ‘Light the Darkness’ is an affirmation and a call to action for everyone marking HMD. This theme asks us to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’, for example, identity-based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice; and different ways of ‘being the light’, for example, resistance, acts of solidarity, rescue and illuminating mistruths.”
Increasing levels of denial, division and misinformation in today’s world mean we must remain vigilant against hatred and identity-based hostility.
Cllr Sarah Bevan is Patron of the Bath & North East Somerset Faith Foundation and the daughter of a Holocaust Survivor. She said:
“In the years leading up to the Holocaust, Nazi policies and their propaganda of lies and misinformation deliberately encouraged divisions within German society – urging Aryan Germans to keep themselves separate from their Jewish neighbours. The Holocaust was enabled with the collusion of ordinary people, once friends, neighbours and colleagues of the persecuted millions, who failed to speak out when the harassment, exclusion, deportations and pogroms started, many years before the outbreak of World War II.
Adolph Hitler and the National Socialist Party members re-educated the German Aryan or non-Jewish population to believe that certain people living in their communities were less worthy of life than others.
Children’s reading books of the time are clear evidence of the insidious growth of anti-semitic bias, spread through teaching in schools from an early age.”
Auschwitz concentration camp was supported by a network of Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps built and operated by Hitler’s Third Reich in many Nazi occupied countries, including France, Germany, Poland and Holland during World War II.
During the Nazis’ rule and invasion of other European countries, along with millions of Jews, other groups of people were targeted, captured and killed such as disabled people, black people, gay people, gypsies, liberals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Poles and Soviets.
People can remember the Holocaust at home on Wednesday 27th January, by lighting a candle at 8pm with thousands of other households across the UK.
The Faith Foundation is making available resources, posters and information for individuals, community associations and faith groups for Holocaust Memorial Day. To receive free copies, email [email protected]
Residents can also be kept updated online at www.facebook.com/BANESFaithFoundation