Virtual service to be held to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day

A service was held in St Albans Cathedral to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Picture: Alison Orde

Last year's Holocaust Memorial Day service at St Albans Cathedral marked 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz - Credit: Archant

An online service is to be held tomorrow (Wednesday, January 27) to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

Holocaust Memorial Day, which is marked on January 27 every year, remembers the six million Jews who lost their lives during the Second World War, as well as millions of others who lost their lives due to Nazi persecution. January 27 also marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day is to be commemorated virtually tomorrow, January 27. - Credit: SADC

St Albans Mayor, Cllr Janet Smith, is to host the event at 7pm, which is on the theme 'Be the Light in the Darkness'. Residents from across the district are welcome to follow the event on Zoom, which has been organised by St Albans United Synagogue in partnership with St Albans City and District Council.

Normally, a multi-faith service is held at St Albans Cathedral or one of two local synagogues, but this is not possible this year because of the pandemic.

This year's virtual event will show a video to highlight the horrors of the Holocaust and later genocides as well as a talk by principal guest Francois Robertson, a Holocaust survivor who fled Brussels with her parents to escape the Nazis.


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There will also be an address by St Albans United Minister, Rabbi Daniel Sturgess, music, prayers, a minute’s silence and candle lighting in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and other acts of genocide.

Cllr Smith said: “I’m sure every member of our community will be able to relate to the theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day.

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“There wasn’t much light in the darkness for victims of the Holocaust and this service will be a call to action against different types of darkness such as identity-based persecution or misinformation. It asks people to consider the different ways they can let in the light such as highlighting falsehoods, a highly relevant topic for our times.

“The COVID-19 emergency meant we could not mark the day with a service at the Cathedral or synagogue, but we can still join together online. All sectors of our community will be represented to show their opposition to prejudice and hatred.”

For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day, visit hmd.org.uk

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