Holocaust Memorial Day 2022

Date: 25 January 2022
Author: Cllr Jo Humphreys
Title: Ward councillor for Whitton & Member of the Education and Children’s Services Committee

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD), which takes place every year on 27 January, is a day of remembrance for the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The theme for HMD 2022 is One Day which can be interpreted in many different ways. For example, survivors of the Holocaust and of genocide often talk about the One Day when everything changed, sometimes for the worse and sometimes for the better. For others the daily persecution could only be tolerated by holding out for the One Day in the future when all their suffering would be over.

After nearly two years of our lives being put on hold due to COVID, many people are now suffering from financial hardship, struggling with symptoms of long COVID, or experiencing mental health issues brought on by the isolation of lockdown or anxiety of the pandemic. Therefore, I think the interpretation that many of us will be able to identify the most with is the idea that we need to try and take things One Day at a time.

"You didn't think about yesterday, and tomorrow may not happen, it was only today that you had to cope with and you got through it as best you could". Iby Knill, survivor of the Holocaust.

Richmond Borough has once again commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day with posters at some of our parks, displays at all of our libraries, and a service hosted by Richmond Synagogue. Events have included an online book talk by Debra Barnes, who wrote The Young Survivors, an extraordinary story of her mother's experience of the Holocaust. We are also now in our fourth year of HMD workshops for Year 9 pupils, involving almost all of our secondary schools. These are kindly organised by volunteers from our local Jewish community.

Finally, a sentiment that we all hope for is that One Day in the future there will be no genocide. "We learn more about the past, we empathise with others today, and we take action for a better future".

For more information please visit the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website.

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Updated: 30 August 2022