We commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day every year with a civic ceremony on the nearest Sunday to 27 January.
The event theme in 2020 was ‘stand together’. The civic ceremony on Sunday 26 January brought children from different schools together to work with poet Michael Rosen, historian Helen Weinstein, and holocaust survivor Eva Clarke.
The ceremony featured songs, readings, poetry and drama, including a newly commissioned pieces by Michael Rosen. These were inspired and interspersed by words from survivor testimonies and campaigners for equality and diversity.
There was a special commemoration to mark 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and 25 years since the Bosnian wars.
Holocaust Memorial Day became an international day of commemoration in 2000, when 46 governments signed the Stockholm Declaration. The first events in the UK, including Cambridge, were in 2001.
“Between 1941 and 1945, the Nazis attempted to annihilate all of Europe’s Jews. This systematic and planned attempt to murder European Jewry is known as the Holocaust. From the time they assumed power in 1933, the Nazis used propaganda, persecution, and legislation to deny human and civil rights to Jews. They used centuries of antisemitism as their foundation. By the end of the Holocaust, six million Jewish men, women and children had perished in ghettos, mass-shootings, in concentration camps and extermination camps.” – Holocaust Memorial Day Trust
The Nazis also attacked, the Romani, Poles, members of other Slavic ethnic groups, and Aktion T4 patients who were killed because they were mentally and physically disabled. Others included: LGBT+ people; other religious minorities; black people; political opponents of the Nazis (e.g trade unionists); and members of other smaller groups.
There are five recognised genocides which are the Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.
"Genocide never just happens. There is always a set of circumstances which occur or which are created to build the climate in which genocide can take place." – Holocaust Memorial Day Trust
The Ten Stages of Genocide
By Gregory H Stanton, President of Genocide Watch