THE BROMSGROVE community came together to remember the victims of the Holocaust on Monday.
The poignant service, held at Parkside, saw seven schools from across the district join representative from all faiths, present memorial plates, light candles, give readings and hold a two-minute silence.
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD), held annually on January 27, is a time where people pause to remember the millions of people who were murdered or whose lives changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
In the Holocaust, 11million people, including six million Jews, were systematically murdered in Europe between 1941-45 by the Nazis and their collaborators and it is recognised as the worst genocide in history.
With this year’s theme as ‘the power of words’, the event focused on the importance of the words we use and how what we say or write can define certain people and ideas.
Vice-Chairman of Bromsgrove District Council, Coun Caroline Spencer, along with Coun Sue Hanley, Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi from Birmingham Progressive Synagogue and Aksa Khan from the Bromsgrove Muslim Community Trust (BMCT) all spoke as part of the service.
Coun Caroline Spencer said: “It is important we remember the atrocities that happened.
“The seven schools from across the district have all learnt about the Holocaust and now have a deep understanding about what happened.
“This knowledge will give them the power to make sure this doesn’t happen again, it is important for future generations to never forget.”
Six schools including Haybridge High School, Bromsgrove School, Aston Fields Middle School, Woodrush High School, St John’s Middle School and Catshill Middle School, all presented memorial plates commemorating the different genocides.
Students from North Bromsgrove High School then sang a rendition of ‘The Partisan’s Song’ which was sang by Jewish Partisans in the Second World War.
Rev Ray Khan then gave a final blessing to conclude the event.
During her reading Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi said: “When we think of the power words have, we must remember that gentle words can also be wonderful and can make all the difference.
“Refugees are coming to our shores, sometimes children with no families, they have to retell their story in order to seek asylum and learn a new language and fit into what seems like a strange country.
“For victims of prejudice or anyone who feels alone, we can offer kind words and can be a friend to them in what can seem like a friendless world.”