Seventy five Memorial Flames will be lit in Oxford Town Hall on Holocaust Memorial Day to mark the 75th anniversary since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The Flames will be lit as part of a reflection service that will take place on Holocaust Memorial Day, Monday 27 January 2020, at 11am in the Old Library, Oxford Town Hall.
The service is open to those of any faith or none. Members of the public, City Council staff and councillors are welcome to attend.
The service will also mark the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Bosnia, alongside other genocides around the world, including in Rwanda, Cambodia and Darfur.
The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is Stand Together. It will explore how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups, and how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing together with their neighbours, and speaking out against oppression.
The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Craig Simmons, will host the reflection service, which will include an interview with Dr George Gilbert, Lecturer in Modern Russian History at the University of Southampton, about the persecution of Jews in pogroms.
The service will also include contributions from the City Rector, The Reverend Anthony Buckley; Penny Faust of the Oxford Jewish Congregation; Jawaid Malik of the Oxford Foundation; and Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East.
A Yahrzeit (Yiddish for “a year's time”) candle will be lit to reflect and remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides around the world.
"It is important we remember the horrors of the past to avoid them being repeated.
“Some of my own family came to the UK as refugees from the violent pogroms in Eastern Europe. One of my grandparents escaped from Vitebsk; the widespread massacres of Jews that occurred there in 1941 are well documented. Those family members who remained were certainly killed."
The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Craig Simmons
For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day 2020, visit the Holocaust Memorial Day website.