Holocaust Memorial Day on the 27th January 2016 marked the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. This years theme “Don’t Stand By” asked us all to consider our personal responsibility not to be a bystander to persecution and genocide. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel wrote ” I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented”.
The Waltham Forest Town Hall Memorial began at the Ann Frank Memorial Tree with reflection on those that had died during the Holocaust. Following the laying of flowers by the Mayor all were invited to place a stone by the memorial, a custom indicating that a graveside had been visited. In the council chambers there were speeches, and videos of Holocaust survivors.
The memorial ended with the lighting of candles and the Mourners Kaddish/Prayer in Hebrew and English.