'Deeply moving' Holocaust Memorial Day service to take place online

The candlelit parade for Holocaust Memorial Day. Picture: Blake Ezra Photography 2019

The candlelit parade in Hertsmere with mayor councillor Alan Plancey pre-COVID - Credit: (C) Blake Ezra Photography 2018

A Holocaust Memorial Day service organised by Hertsmere Borough Council will go ahead online.

Whilst the event’s format is being modified, there will still be a firm focus on taking time to remember the millions of people who suffered during the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides in Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia and Darfur.

Mayor Cllr Plancey said: “I am very grateful to everyone who is working so hard to ensure that our ceremony can go ahead in an online format so that we keep everyone safe and comply with on-going restrictions.

"It is so vital that we take this time to remember those who have suffered at the hands of genocidal regimes and that we ensure lessons are learned as we create a safer future.

"The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day this year is 'Be the Light in the Darkness'. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to but also the way individuals and communities resisted that darkness to 'be the light, before, during and after genocide.

"Our annual ceremony here in Hertsmere is always a deeply moving event and I am sure this year's occasion, despite its many differences in format, will be thought-provoking and uplifting."

Principal speaker at the event will be Angela Cohen, chair of Holocaust Survivors '45 Aid Society. There will also be speeches, prayers and the lighting of candles.

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Holocaust Memorial Day is held every year on January 27 as this is the anniversary of the day in 1945 when the Soviet Army liberated the largest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Mayor of Hertsmere, Councillor Alan Plancey, will lead the ceremony on Wednesday, January  27 starting at 6.30pm. It can be viewed live via Hertsmere Borough Council’s webcast system and a recording of the ceremony will also be published afterwards.

In keeping with this year's theme, households across the UK are invited to light candles and display them in their window at 8pm on Wednesday to remember those who were murdered for who they were and stand against prejudice and hatred.

You can also upload a photo of your candle on social media using the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay and #LightTheDarkness

Find out more about what you can do to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 here.