Everyone must remember their duty to stand up and speak out against prejudice, the Mayor of London said ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day.
Sadiq Khan and the chairman of the London Assembly, Navin Shah, will join Jewish community leaders and Holocaust survivors on Monday in a virtual service ahead of Wednesday’s Holocaust Memorial Day.
The annual service, in collaboration with the Holocaust Educational Trust and Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, remembers the genocide of millions of Jews and other minorities during the Second World War.
Khan, who attended Yom HaShoah as his first event after being elected Mayor of London, said: “The Holocaust marked one of the darkest chapters in human history and, although we are unable to meet in person to remember the millions of lives lost, it is important we still take the opportunity to reflect.
“This year’s theme ‘Be the light in the darkness’ is a call to action for each and every one of us, reminding us of our duty to stand up and speak out against prejudice, oppression and injustice wherever they may be found.”
The pre-recorded 11am service will include speeches by dignitaries, a memorial prayer and personal testimonies from Holocaust survivor Renee Salt and genocide survivor Abdul Musa Adam.
Mr Shah said: “This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme is Be the Light in the Darkness reminding us that we all have the power to make radical and lasting changes to bring about peace and take action to support those who face discrimination.
“We must show understanding to those who we perceive as different and celebrate diversity.
“We must report hate crimes if we see them. We must stand together with our neighbours, to speak out against divisive tactics.”
Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: “Today, the world is increasingly vulnerable to divisions and prejudices.
“By reminding ourselves of the worst that human beings can do to each other, we guard against identity-based hostility and persecution.”
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “We cannot come together as usual but we will still remember.
“We pay tribute to our brave and beloved Holocaust survivors, who have become digital experts to continue to share their heart-breaking testimonies.
“And as the Holocaust moves from living history to just history, we will work harder to ensure that the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered by the Nazis are never forgotten.
“Despite the challenges today, we cannot cease in our resolve – with anti-Semitism and hatred continuing to be a blight on our societies, we need to learn about, and from, the horrors of history more than ever.”
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