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Holocaust Memorial Day

posted 26 Jan 2016, 11:21 by Mr Evans
Tomorrow, 27th January, we will be marking Holocaust Memorial Day with a short, dignified assembly for children in Year 5/6. 

This is the first time since coming to Ringmer that I have had the opportunity to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, but the intention is that it will become a regular event on our school calendar. Wherever possible, memorial events take place on 27th January, because it was on this date in 1945 that the Allies liberated the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Some 25 years ago I visited Auschwitz when I was staying in Poland. To stand at the railway sidings there, see the remains of the gas chambers and visit the exhibition, is a very grim and sobering experience but I am very glad that I did it: it is something that will stay with me for my whole life. It is very important that we don't forget the people who were murdered in such huge numbers at Auschwitz and other camps. Children in Year 5/6 are able to start learning about these shocking events although obviously we approach the subject with care.

In our assembly we will focus on the story of one girl who came to Britain as a refugee just before the Second World War and escaped the Holocaust because she was welcomed and cared for by foster parents. Her parents, sadly, were not so lucky. The theme of this year's memorial is 'Don't Stand By', in other words it celebrates the fact that even in a time of war, there were people who were ready to reach out and help someone who needed a home, and shelter. We will be remembering the people who were lost in the Holocaust and in other genocides, and recognising the positive impact of those who are willing to help. It's a lesson about the past, but which has modern echoes of course.