Oxford to mark Holocaust Memorial Day with online service of reflection

Published: Thursday, 21st January 2021

The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Mark Lygo, will host an online service of reflection to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on 27 January every year, is the international day to remember the millions of people who were murdered in the Holocaust and in the genocides around the world that followed.

27 January marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Oxford City Council will host the Holocaust Memorial Day service on reflect on its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts at 11am on Wednesday (27/1).

Service of reflection

The order of service is:

  • Welcome by the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Mark Lygo
  • Councillor Les Sibley, Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council, to read: Fear by Eva Pickova
  • Jawaid Malik JP, Vice Chair of the Oxford Council of Faiths, to say a prayer
  • Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, to read: We Remember Them by Sylvan Kamens and Rabbi Jack Riemer
  • Penny Faust, of the Oxford Jewish Congregation, to read: A Reflection for Holocaust Memorial Day
  • Penny Faust to light a Yahrzeit (Yiddish for “a year's time”) candle and lead a minute silence to reflect
  • The Reverend Anthony Buckley, City Rector of Oxford, to say a prayer.

The service is open to those of any faith or none.

The service normally takes place in the Oxford Town Hall. It will be held online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Holocaust Memorial Day

The national theme for Holocaust Memorial Day this year is “Be the light in the darkness”. The theme aims to encourages people to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.

Holocaust Memorial Day has been commemorated in the UK since 2001. In 2005 the United Nations declared 27 January as an international commemoration day. For more information about the website, Holocaust Memorial Day

“In the current pandemic where people are isolating, restrictions are placed on their freedom to travel and visit friends and family, it is important to remember those that have had much more taken from them. 

“The virtual service to commemorate International Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January gives us all the opportunity to reflect on the past and to ensure that we stand up for those who are persecuted or subjected to racial hatred, we can all be the light in the darkness.”

The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Mark Lygo