Holocaust Memorial Day to be marked online by Leeds Council

Holocaust Memorial Day is set to be marked online by Leeds Council - with an event themed 'Be the light in the darkness’.

By Daniel Sheridan
Thursday, 21st January 2021, 11:45 am

Due to the current national lockdown, the event will be shown online on Sunday, January 24 from 2.00pm at www.leedstownhall.co.uk.

Leeds Council said members of the public are invited to join the event online from the safety of their homes to remember all the victims of genocide.

This international day of remembrance focuses on the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust, and millions more people killed under German Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

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Holocaust Memorial Day to be marked online by Leeds Council cc Leeds Council

The Lord Mayor of Leeds will open the event followed by a keynote speech by Dr Alessandro Bucci, Co-director of the Holocaust Learning and Exhibition Centre, University of Huddersfield, and Ben Barkow, Chair of the Holocaust Survivors' Friendship Association.

Young people from the Carriageworks Young Theatre Makers, Breeze Arts Foundation at Leeds Playhouse, Opera North Youth Chorus and Pyramid Arts have worked together to increase their knowledge of Holocaust Memorial Day and have recorded a performance reading of WH Auden’s poem ‘Refugee Blues’ which will be included in the online event.

There will be also be a reading of the seven statements of commitments with candles lit by representatives of the different groups persecuted, including Holocaust survivors, people with additional needs, the LGBT+ community and Remembering Srebrenica.

A traditional Hebrew memorial prayer sung by the President of Bradford Synagogue, Rudi Leavor, BEM will bring this year’s event to a close, at which point there will be an invitation to light a candle at home.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor said: “Whilst we are unable to come together in person this year to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, I am honoured to be a part of this online event which gives the people of Leeds the chance to come together in remembrance of those who were murdered in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.”

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “This year’s theme of ‘Be the light in the darkness’ is an affirmation and a call to action for everyone marking Holocaust Memorial Day. The theme asks us to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’: identity-based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice. It then asks that we consider different ways of ‘being the light’, such as acts of solidarity, resistance, rescue and illuminating mistruths.”

The event will be British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted.