Holocaust Memorial Day: Southwark honours people who lost their lives and those who survived

1 February 2018

The Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Charlie Smith, was joined by Mr John Dobai, a Holocaust Survivor, and more than 150 guests to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday 26 January, remembering the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides and atrocities.

Wreath-laying began with Col Simon Duckworth, Representative Deputy Lieutenant, the Mayor, Cllr Peter John, Leader of the Council, and Councillor David Noakes representing the opposition, Ambassadors and Defence Attachés from many of the Allied Nations. They gathered to lay the wreaths in an act of remembrance at the Soviet War Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial Tree, in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, at the Imperial War Museum.

They continued the ceremony inside the museum, where the Mayor welcomed everyone.  Holocaust Survivor, Mr John Dobai, gave a moving testimony to those gathered. Violinist, Camille Morana, performed Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt and representatives of Southwark communities lit memorial candles, before the Memorial Prayer and Kaddish were led by Rabbi Lionel Rosenfeld.

The Theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 is The Power of Words, encouraging people to explore how language has been used in past and present times, and looking at the impact of words for both good and bad.

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January each year, marking the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp. It’s a time to remember the millions of people who lost their lives to the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, and to honour those who survived. This year the ceremony is particularly poignant, in the aftermath of the devastating terror attacks in London and Manchester, during 2017.

Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Charlie Smith, said: “It was a great privilege to welcome so many honoured guests to the Imperial War Museum this year, to commemorate such an important day in world history.  Those present were deeply moved by the harrowing story of Mr Dobai, highlighting this years theme ‘the Power of Words’.”

Page last updated: 01 February 2018