On, or around, 27 January, we honour the victims and survivors of The Holocaust and other genocides known nationally as Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD). We aim to learn lessons from their experiences to challenge hatred and discrimination in the UK today.
Words have a mighty power, articulating in writing or speech what is otherwise unsaid. They can reflect thoughts, views and attitudes, and can also play an active role in shaping them.
Kind words can take on disproportionate power in times of intimidation and insecurity, where some people are victimised and persecuted. Words used to good effect can restore hope, courage or faith. Words can challenge prevailing views and can state solidarity.
Words that are used to ill-effect, when seen or heard, can normalise what might otherwise have been considered too extreme. Harsh words, or words that feed negative stereotypes, can fuel tensions, increase vulnerability and even incite violence.
Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 - "Being the light in the darkness"
Holocaust Memorial Day 2021’s theme is ‘Be the light in the darkness’. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.
It is a call to action for everyone marking HMD. It asks us to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’, for example, identity based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice; and different ways to ‘be the light’, for example, resistance, acts of solidarity, rescue and illuminating mistruths.
In normal years, we mark the occasion with an in-person ceremony and public exhibition held on or around 27 January, but due to coronavirus restrictions it will be held online this year.
Across the borough members of our communities will demonstrate unity with the HMD 2021 message. They will light a candle and reflect on how they can be the light in the darkness. We would encourage you to take part and share an image or video with us on:
We also want to encourage participation from everybody to spread the message of 'Be the light in the darkness' particularly children and young people so we have produced colouring templates that can be printed, coloured and popped in your window.
Please note: we will be lighting up Southwater One, the Borough's Library, and the Silver Swallow Bridge in purple the colour of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to further raise awareness of HMD.
If you are holding an event or activity, please do let us know we would be happy to share the news
Last updated: 27/01/2021 10:52