Holocaust Memorial Day is our enduring reminder of the darkest period in humanity’s history when a modern and sophisticated society was taken over by evil and millions upon millions of Jews and other innocents were grievously murdered in the coldest of blood.
Each story of individual horror touches us immensely - the little boy torn from the comforting hands of his father who was destined for poison showers which would kill his entire family except the little boy, the little girl, now 90, ripped apart from her beloved mother whose face she has spent a lifetime trying to recall but never will, and so many other truths which plumb the depths of our heartache. Each memory becomes ever more precious as those witnesses to a stark and unhidden evil reach an old age.
In most years we remember with real sadness and a normal empathy. We so strongly encourage, indeed advocate, for continued work to rid our world of antisemitism, the oldest hatred, and for us all to live in peace with our friends and neighbours.
But this year the pain feels special and acute. It may not be the Nazis, but we hear of death all around us, some of us have lost our most loved family and friends and in the film of this pain, the stories of murder in the Holocaust become more vivid and we are profoundly touched. We can imagine those years of rising terror from 1933, each year more frightening, each year more death.
And we say Never Again.
With warmest wishes,
Cllr Helene Richman, West Hendon