Plymouth to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 

A public memorial event is being held in the Peace Garden on the Hoe to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Thursday 27 January at 11.15am.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, on the 27 January 1945. The day remembers the millions who were persecuted and died in the Holocaust and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day this year is ‘One Day’. It is an opportunity for everyone to stand together with their local community across boundaries of difference and encourages us to think about a day in the future free from genocide and persecution.

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Association for Jewish Refugees a special campaign called ‘80 Trees for 80 Years’ has been launched. The campaign will see 80 oak trees planted around Britain to acknowledge the contribution made to British life by refugees who escaped from Nazi persecution. An oak tree will be planted on Plymouth Hoe as part of the Holocaust Memorial Day commemorative activities.

Plymouth has the oldest Ashkenazi synagogue in the English-speaking world and the Jewish cemetery is one of the oldest in the UK. It stands as evidence of the deep roots the Jewish community has here.

The Council has committed to making Holocaust Memorial Day a civic event each year and has organised this event in partnership with the Plymouth Centre for Faiths and Cultural Diversity.

Councillor Vivien Pengelly, Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities said: “It is so important that we commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and learn important lessons from the past, as well as reflect on current world events. Plymouth aims to be a welcoming city and we aspire to be fair and ensure everyone is treated with respect, champion fairness and create opportunities.”