Newham comes together to remember the Holocaust

27 January 2014 in Events
​More than 160 people attended Newham Town Hall in East Ham today (Monday) to see candles lit in remembrance of those who lost their lives during the Holocaust.
Holocaust Memorial Day 2014
Mayor Sir Robin Wales was joined by residents, Newham councillors, council chief executive Kim Bromley-Derry and children from across the borough, to reflect on the horror of Nazi atrocities during the Second World War, and subsequent genocides including Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Holocaust Memorial Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is estimated that six million Jewish people were murdered by the Nazis during the Second World War. Six candles were lit during the Town Hall commemoration.

Children Tyrone Marabi and Kamsi Nzewi from St Luke’s School in Canning Town, did readings about Anne Frank’s diary while Edil Yusuf and Jasmine Ssenoga from Plaistow’s Cumberland School, read poems of memories of the Holocaust.

The event included Newham's Every Child a Musician programme’s Stars Orchestra and Stars Choir. They performed Remember Me, a moving piece written and composed Craig Murdoch, Newham’s lead tutor for keyboards.

Remember Me told the story of the journey a group of Polish children made by train to the Treblinka extermination camp set up by the Germans in Poland after they invaded and occupied the country. The children carved their names on a tree in their village so they would not be forgotten.

Speaking at the event, Sir Robin said: “The Holocaust is about remembering what happens when people who hold intolerant beliefs and messages of hatred and bigotry are not challenged. Sadly, there are still examples of this hatred and bigotry in the present day.

“We have more than 300,000 people living in Newham who speak more than 200 languages and dialects – this makes us the most diverse place in the world. I’m proud of the strong sense of community spirit in Newham.

“We are a borough where nearly 90 per cent of our residents say people from different backgrounds get on well with their neighbours and other people in their community. This demonstrates the shared common values of friendship and respect that the people in Newham value, regardless of their background.

“Where people try to undermine Newham’s sense of community spirit we need to be prepared to stand together and to say ‘no’. If we stand together we can make sure those who lost their lives to intolerance are never forgotten.”