Holocaust Memorial Day 2016

‘Don’t Stand By’ is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016
Joint-Chairman David Gold will today attend Newham Council’s Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in association with the Holocaust Educational Trust.
Mr Gold has been invited to light one of six candles, alongside survivor Harry Bibring, Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales, Young Mayor of Newham Alex Jarrett, West Ham MP Lyn Brown, and Deputy Lieutenant John Barber, The Queen’s representative in Newham, to mark the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust.
Ninety-year-old survivor Harry has been telling his story for many years. His first-hand testimony is a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced during the Holocaust. He is a living witness to Nazi persecution, keen to ensure the memory of those who died is honoured, and learn the lessons of where prejudice and racism can lead.
Retired engineer Harry is now one of a handful of survivors who visit schools to tell their stories as living witnesses, but the number is getting smaller. He said: “People ask me why I do it and I say I don’t like daytime television. The real reason of course is that there is still prejudice to challenge.
“Modern society has appeared to have learned nothing from the Holocaust. People are still discriminated against because they live a different life or a different skin colour. Just look at Rwanda and Cambodia and now in Syria where different sections of the same religion are killing themselves. It has got to stop.
“I tell people to never fall into a group who differentiate against somebody because they are different to you. There is only race on this earth, the human race, and we have to get on with each other.
“This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day message is Don’t Stand By. I have been saying that for years. Standing by is bad. That’s why I want to meet young people and to tell them my story.”
The HMD commemoration is to take place on Wednesday 27 January, 9.30am-12.30pm, Old Town Hall, Broadway, Stratford, E15. Harry will share his story and there will be an opportunity to ask questions, while the service also includes performances and readings from Newham schoolchildren. For more information, click here.
As Harry himself points out, ‘Don’t Stand By’ is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016.
Supporters were able to watch a video on the subject on the big screens at Saturday's game with Manchester City, courtesy of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. In the short film, survivor of the Holocaust Susan Pollack shares a unique story of surviving genocide.       
The Holocaust and subsequent genocides took place because the local populations allowed insidious persecution to take root. Whilst some actively supported or facilitated state policies of persecution, the vast majority stood by silently – at best, afraid to speak out; at worst, indifferent. Bystanders enabled the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and subsequent genocides.
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has written powerfully about the impact of bystanders: “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

For further information, click here