East End remembers the Holocaust as Mayor of Tower Hamlets and councillors pay their respect
- Credit: Holocaust Memorial Trust
A week of remembrance of the Holocaust has ended with services and events across London’s East End involving people of all ages and of all faiths and none.
An exhibition of “untold stories” has been touring Tower Hamlets Idea store libraries throughout January, loaned by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
It tells the story of five survivors from the Holocaust and the later genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia and Cambodia, with a book display to encourage further learning.
Mayor John Biggs visited the exhibition at Poplar’s Chrisp Street Idea Store.
“I was moved by the touching testimonies on display,” he said.
“Remembering the millions who lost their lives in the Holocaust and other genocides is important—but we must also make sure history is not allowed to repeat itself.
“Educating the younger generation about the horrors is an important part of that.”
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Schoolchildren also gathered at Bethnal Green’s Rich Mix arts centre for a screening of The Rescuers, a film telling the story of the diplomats who rescued tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazi death camps.
Holocaust Memorial Day was started in 2001 on the January 27 anniversary of the Auschwitz death camp liberation by Soviet forces in 1945—where a million Jewish men, women and children had been murdered as part of Hitler’s ‘final solution’ mass genocide programme.
Six million Jews and a million others were murdered in death camps across Nazi German-occupied Europe between 1940 and 1945 before the Allies finally liberated the Continent.
Members of the public were on a walk yesterday from Aldgate to Stepney’s East London Central Synagogue, tracing the East End’s Jewish heritage along the route.
The walk was followed by a multi-faith service of remembrance where Deputy Mayor Sirajul Islam joined community and faith leaders.
He said: “We have seen in my lifetime acts of brutality from the Balkans to Rwanda and even today the persecution of the Rohingya.”
Tower Hamlets councillors and staff commemorated the Holocaust at the town hall on Friday to observe a two minute silence in memory.
Council Speaker Sabina Akhtar gave a short speech, followed by Cllr Peter Golds recited the ‘Yiskah’ prayer for the dead in Hebrew.