Cheshire East to mark Holocaust Memorial Day
Cheshire East Council will hold a service of remembrance to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in Macclesfield on Friday.
The leader of the council, Rachel Bailey and the council’s acting chief executive Kath O’Dwyer will be joined for the service by a Holocaust survivor, the Mayor of Macclesfield Councillor Adam Schofield and Rabbi Dovid Lewis, of Manchester’s Bowdon Synagogue.
Cheshire East Council’s equality champions will join members of the public and civic dignitaries, representing communities from across the borough and members of the public at a Holocaust Memorial Day Act of Remembrance. The service will be held in Macclesfield Town Hall at 11am.
The ceremony will include readings of testaments from survivors of genocide and Holocaust remembrance poems. There will also be musical performances from pupils of North Cheshire Jewish Primary School, the lighting of memorial candles and a two minutes’ silence.
Rabbi Dovid Lewis said: “Holocaust Memorial Day services can encourage more people to strike up conversations with people that they perhaps would have never thought about talking to before.
“Jewish people suffered terrible losses at the hands of the Nazis but there were other groups of people who did so as well. This event shows how communities are stronger when they work together.”
Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “This is a hugely important occasion in the calendar of council event. The horrors of the holocaust must be remembered for the sake of all those who suffered the oppression of the Nazi regime.
“It’s right that we should take the time to reflect and remember those who lost their lives and that we learn to celebrate the diversity of our communities.”
Holocaust Memorial Day has taken place on the same date since it was introduced in 2001. January 27 was chosen as that was the date when the Nazis’ notorious Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by Soviet troops in 1945.
The Holocaust resulted in the annihilation of an estimated six million Jews, two million Gypsies, 15,000 homosexual people and millions of others by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
Since 1945 there have been several other attempted genocides across the world – including Rwanda, Cambodia and Bosnia – and these are also commemorated on Holocaust Memorial Day.
This is the seventh consecutive year the council has held an annual Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration and the first time it has been held outside Sandbach.