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Council and Community Gather for Holocaust Memorial Day

Council and Community Gather for Holocaust Memorial Day

February 1, 2018

The local community came together last week to reflect and remember the Holocaust and its survivors at a Holocaust Memorial Day event, held at the Irish Linen Centre, as remembrance events took place around the world.

The theme this year was ‘The Power of Words’, chosen to explore words written during the Holocaust 73 years ago; and subsequent genocides such as in Cambodia and Rwanda.  

Mr Billy Dixon, a motivational speaker, spoke about the power of words, and of words used during the Holocaust by the Nazis, the Jews, and survivors.  He also articulated how the written word has helped people to understand the Holocaust through the use of language.

In terms of today's society, Billy focused on how words create emotional responses, evoke emotional reactions and he also spoke about the difference between free speech and censorship. 

Katy Radford MBE, Project Manager and Senior Researcher from the Institute of Conflict Research attended the Irish Linen Centre hosted event, and spoke about the importance of communities working together in order to understand each other’s traditions and make meaningful connections and friendships.

The Mayor, Councillor Tim Morrow, said: “I found the event very moving, as did we all. We must never forget the suffering of the Holocaust. The bravery of those who survived and told their stories about their suffering, cruelties inflicted and the endurance of mind and body must never be forgotten. The terrible events that took place in Eastern Europe before and during the Second World War and the legacy survivors have given us in word and voice must always be remembered.”

Alderman James Tinsley, Chairman of the Council’s Leisure & Community Development Committee said: “In line with the solemnity of Holocaust Memorial Day statements of commitment were read aloud by guests at the event. These confirmed the need to ensure everyone understands the magnitude of the enormous loss of life from the Holocaust, and how the lives of those who survived were ultimately changed forever.  

"The commitments called for everyone to be caring, to be strong, and to never remain silent when the lives of others are at stake or their dignity affected," he said. 

Guests then lit candles to allow for time for reflection through thought and prayer for the millions of men, women and children who were victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.