At the launch event for Holocaust Memorial Day 2017 in Parliament earlier this week, Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb met with John Hajdu who survived the Holocaust in Hungary; Lily Ebert, an Auschwitz survivor and Sophie Musabe Masereka, who survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is commemorated each year on 27th January – the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death and concentration camp. HMD provides an opportunity for school pupils and many others to learn lessons from the Nazi Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. HMD challenges people to apply these lessons to the present day.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) promotes and supports HMD activities in the UK. Each year the Trust selects a theme around which HMD activities can focus. The theme for 2017 is “How can life go on?”
Stephen said: "It was truly humbling to spend time with John, Lily and Sophie. Their stories are a powerful reminder of the importance of marking Holocaust Memorial Day – a day where we remember the millions who were affected by the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. I will be contacting local schools and encouraging them to make use of the resources provided by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to mark this important date.
"On Holocaust Memorial Day in 2015, I took part in Pembrokeshire’s first remembrance service to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz at the Picton Centre in Haverfordwest. This multi-faith ceremony was a great reminder of how important it is for people across the county to come together to mark such an important date and I have been determined to take part ever since.
"A number of Pembrokeshire pupils have travelled to Auschwitz with the Holocaust Educational Trust in recent years and I think it is vitally important for young people to learn about the horrors of these genocides and to hear the struggles of this remarkable group of people.
"I want to encourage not only students but people of all ages, right across Pembrokeshire, to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January 2017.”
Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: ‘We were delighted that Stephen showed his support for Holocaust Memorial Day. We hope that many more people in Pembrokeshire will use the free resources available through our website to organise activities for next year’s HMD – adding to the record 5,590 activities which took place for HMD 2016."
Visit the Holocaust Memorial Day website at: www.hmd.org.uk to find out more about the work they do and to get involved yourself. Details can also be found about the nearest Holocaust Memorial Day workshop which will be held in Cardiff on 4th November.