Published: Monday, 16th January 2023
Holocaust Memorial Day will be marked in King’s Lynn this year with a return to the Town Hall for the first time since the pandemic.
A variety of readers and groups will be attending the interfaith service on Sunday, January 22 at noon. The Borough Mayor, Cllr Lesley Bambridge will be joined by readers representing a host of organisations to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.
Pupils from both St Martha’s and Greyfriars schools in King’s Lynn will be taking part in the service, along with borough council leader Cllr Stuart Dark MBE, members of the local police cadets, soroptimists and representatives of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths.
This year’s theme is Ordinary People - genocide is facilitated by ordinary people who turn a blind eye or take an active part. But it’s also ordinary people who took the brave decision to be heard, or help those who needed it most. Also, it was ordinary people who made the decision to ignore what was happening and join the ranks of bystanders. Those persecuted during genocide are also ordinary people, but they were given no choices.
A spokesperson for the West Norfolk Jewish community said:
“We are all just ordinary people, but we can all become extraordinary and take the decision to challenge prejudice, stand-up to hatred or speak out against persecution. The Holocaust reminds us all that it takes a few ‘ordinary’ people to start a genocide while others watch or ignore what’s happening, and we must all step out of the shadows to stop persecution in all its forms.”
January 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp, and West Norfolk holds its ceremony on the Sunday before the date to enable as many people as possible to take part. A wreath will also be laid immediately after the service at the tree planted for the first national Holocaust Memorial Day in 2001 in the Tower Gardens.
Cllr Lesley Bambridge, Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, said:
“This year has the theme of Ordinary People. Some have been amazingly courageous in having a voice and standing up to genocide or helping those who needed it. Some were persecuted and some just watched it happen.
“We have a choice to do the right thing in life. It is important to hold this day in memory of the victims and the brave who fought against these terrible events and to remind us to continue to fight prejudice in all its forms and ensure such things never happen again.”
The day is also a time to reflect and remember those who have been murdered in subsequent genocides including those in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
Each year thousands of activities take place around the UK to mark the date and more information about Holocaust Memorial Day can be found at the website www.hmd.org.uk
Watch the Holocaust Memorial Day video from 2022 below: