A short reflection service to mark Holocaust Memorial Day will take place in Town Hall at 11am on Friday 27 January 2017. The public is invited to attend and arrive at 10.50am for a prompt start.
The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Mohammed Altaf-Khan, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is not only about commemorating past genocides and honouring those who died, but about standing with those who survive so this year’s theme is ‘How can life go on (after genocide)?’.
“It is a chance to reflect on and learn from the lessons of the past to influence and create a safer future as well as to ensure that these horrendous crimes are not forgotten or repeated.”
Penny Faust, Chair of the Oxford Council of Faiths and member of the Oxford Jewish Congregation, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day reminds us of the dangers of racism and prejudice across the world. It’s a reminder that, more than 70 years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, we can still see genocide, the conscious and deliberate effort of one group to eliminate another.
“In each generation it is not enough to know that personally, you are not racist. I believe that each of us must speak out against racism and prejudice at all levels of our society wherever and whenever we notice them, before they grow into something much worse. We should be aware that every small step we take that is engendered by ‘fear of the other’ takes us along a road that could make future genocides acceptable.”
Holocaust Memorial Day has been commemorated in the UK since 2001, and in 2005 the United Nations declared 27 January as an international day for remembrance and contemporary action: to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution and in the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.