I write this after attending Solihull’s moving commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day this morning. The Memorial Day itself is on Sunday, January 27th, a day earmarked every year in the UK
“to encourage remembrance in a world scarred by genocide [and] to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the millions of people killed under Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.”
This year, HMD took the theme of ‘Torn from Home’ and the occasion brought us the heartfelt story of Mrs Lia Lesser, who was sent by her family from Prague on the Kindertransport and arrived in the UK as a child of eight to be re-homed with a new family, never to see her own family again.
Regrettably, the world has not changed and our current refugee crisis is caused by people being ‘Torn from Home’. We have watched the devastation of communities from Syria to Myanmar in the past year alone.
The UK is not exempt. Individuals are ‘torn from home’ by being ensnares in sexual exploitation, in needing to flee domestic abuse, in simply becoming homeless and more. And that underlines for us the vital role that many of our charities play in support of the ‘torn from home’, helping those starting afresh and rebuilding lives. It is vital work.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is explicit in focussing our attention on the dreadful events surrounding the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis but also subsequent genocides and displacements. However, there is also an opportunity, prompted by this year’s theme, to reflect upon the plight displaced persons and man’s inhumanity to man in general.
On Sunday 27 January, each year, surely these are things we should do.