Rainbow Hamlets holds Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony

PUBLISHED: 17:43 30 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:43 30 January 2014

Edwin Sessange, Kemal Pervanic, Jack Gilbert and Noreddaum

Edwin Sessange, Kemal Pervanic, Jack Gilbert and Noreddaum


About 70 people attended Rainbow Hamlets’ Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony yesterday evening.

The event at the John Scurr Centre was the only LGBT-organised event of its kind in London and included Jewish, LGBT, Muslim and African personal testimonies.

Tower Hamlets youth councillor Omar Joli read a statement on behalf of mayor Lutfur Rahman, who was unable to attend the event because he was abroad.

Jack Gilbert, who is one of the founders of Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain and chairs Rainbow Hamlets, said: “It was a very powerful event with a real diverse section of people in terms of interests and ages.

“As someone who grew up as one of the second generation, a child of someone who was involved in the war, I think one of the most important things is education.” 
He spoke about his family’s experience of the Holocaust, including his mother who was an unaccompanied child refugee on the Kindertransport.

Leon Silver, president of Nelson Street synagogue, read a prayer of rememberance.

The Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony also launched Rainbow Hamlets’ online LGBT educational resources section which provides an insight into LGBT life in pre-war Germany and the impact of Nazi persecution.

Mr Gilbert said: “There is very little available online about the LGBT experience and hopefully this will help to fill in some of the gaps.”

The group’s educational resources can be accessed by visiting

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