Wirral comes together for Holocaust Memorial Day

01 February 2024
Photo of some of the speakers at the Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration

Community groups, faith leaders, school children and elected representatives from across Wirral came together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday 26 January.

Organised by Neil Sledge from Remembering Srebrenica UK, the event was held at Prenton Park to remember the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides that have since taken place.

The Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Jerry Williams, said:

It is often said that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, so it is so important that we – and future generations – continue to remember the victims of Nazi persecution and all of those who suffered during subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and in Srebrenica.

Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Jerry Williams

The theme of this year’s commemoration, Fragility of Freedom, encourages people to reflect on the subtle ways in which freedom can be eroded over time and highlights the ways in which perpetrators target individuals, communities, and means of expression, to prevent challenge and dissent. It also reminds us that freedom cannot be taken for granted. 

Chair of Remembering Srebrenica NW, Neil Sledge, said:

Genocide doesn’t start with mass extermination; it starts in local communities. It spreads with fear and ignorance, and with mistruths being taken-up by people in positions of power. 

So, it is important for communities to come together to remember, and to learn and understand how prejudice, ignorance and hate can spread and escalate to something much worse.

Chair of Remembering Srebrenica NW, Neil Sledge

The commemoration featured poetry readings by children from Christchurch CE Primary School in Birkenhead and Everton Free School, and an address by Lemmy Ross, Junior President of Merseyside Jewish Representative Council. Other speakers included Tranmere Rovers Chairman, Mark Palios, Alison McGovern MP, and Louise Ellis from the Wirral Minority Ethnic Achievement Service (MEAS). 

At the end of the commemoration a memorial candle was lit and a minute’s silence was observed by all those present.

Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations take place on or around the 27th of January every year as the date marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. 

For more information about this year’s commemorations, or to access a huge range of learning resources, visit the Holocaust Memorial Day website.

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