Blaenau Gwent council holds Holocaust memorial day

First published in News

FOLLOWING last year’s successful Holocaust Memorial Day Event, Blaenau Gwent Council is set to hold another this month.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place each year in January, and marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The national theme in the UK for 2014 is 'Journeys'.

The Leader of Blaenau Gwent Council Cllr Hedley McCarthy will host this year’s commemorative event at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community School on January 28, and guest speaker Rabbi Barry Marcus will attend.

Rabbi Marcus is active in promoting Holocaust remembrance and education. In 1998, he pioneered the concept of a one-day educational trip to Auschwitz, and thousands of people have taken part in it since.

A council spokesman said: “We are extremely fortunate that Rabbi Barry Marcus has agreed to come and speak at the event. Rabbi Marcus works closely with the Holocaust Educational Trust and has attended all 100 of the Lessons from Auschwitz visits, which he pioneered.

“He will be travelling up from the Central Synagogue in London to talk about his experiences of visiting Auschwitz and the impact the Holocaust has had, and continues to have, on millions of people all over the world.

"Rabbi Marcus speaks with passion and authority on this most emotive subject and we are very grateful that he has chosen to support our event."

Cllr McCarthy added: "It is important to remember and to learn from the past to ensue that previous mistakes aren’t repeated – it is about learning about antisemitism, racism and prejudice in our society, and that remains today in many forms.

"Please take this opportunity to recognise and remember the sacrifices faced by millions in the past, and to learn for the future."

Last year a holocaust survivor joined Blaenau Gwent schoolchildren as they lit lanterns in memory of those who died in Nazi concentration camps.

The children from primary schools across the county had been learning about the Holocaust in the run-up to Holocaus tMemorial Day.

Eva Clarke, who gave an hour-long talk to children at Abertillery Comprehensive School followed by a question-and-answer session, was born en-route to Mauthausen Concentration Camp, Austria, on April 29, 1945.

She and her mother, now in her 90s, are the only survivors in their family, 15 of whom were killed at Auschwitz.

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and Ebbw Fawr Learning Community will be hosting the event to remember the Holocaust on Tuesday 28 January between 5.45pm and 7pm.

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