Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2020 marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Bosnia. Cardiff will mark HMD 2020 on Monday 27 January at 11am in City Hall. Here, the Reverend Canon Stewart Lisk, who has led Cardiff’s Holocaust Memorial Day Service since 2001, tells us how Cardiff will mark these two significant anniversaries.
“It has been a privilege to conduct such services here in Cardiff since the first Holocaust Memorial Day was marked in the UK.
“This year is the first time in some years that ceremonies are taking place in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on the same day, which seems significant since this year’s theme is Stand Together.”
Each year, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust chooses a different theme to enable audiences to learn something new about the Holocaust and genocide. Each theme is relevant to the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and to the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, and has the life stories of those who were murdered and those who survived at its heart – as well as the experiences of resisters, rescuers and witnesses.
This year’s theme is Stand Together and explores how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups. It also reminds us of the importance of standing together with our neighbours, and speaking out against oppression.
HMD 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz – a significant milestone made particularly poignant by the dwindling number of survivors who are able to share their testimony. It also marks the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Bosnia.
Rev Canon Lisk continues, “We often invite survivors of the Holocaust, members of their families and witnesses who have shared their experiences to speak at the service. Their testimonies remind us that we can not be complacent and we should all stand together against hatred and violence.”
At Monday’s service, Dr Martin Stern MBE will share his remarkable story. Martin was born in 1938 and lived in Holland. He survived camps at both Westerbork and Theresienstadt. You can listen to an interview with Martin on the HMD website.
Abi Carter will share her knowledge of the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, where Bosnian Serb forces killed more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims. Find out more about Srebrenica Genocide on the HMD website. A reminder that cruelty and death have gone on at more recent times.
“We are enormously grateful to all those who are prepared to give their testimonies in a world which still sees prejudice and conflict.” adds Rev Canon Lisk.
Lessons from Auschwitz
“Every year we also welcome young people who are Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassador’s sponsored by the Lessons from Auschwitz project. Lydia Lisk and Ella Rowlands will be speaking to us about their experiences and how are young people today are learning from the horrors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution.”
Visit the Holocaust Educational Trust website to find out more about their Ambassador programme.
“There are many events taking place across the Diocese of Llandaff, including theatre productions and cinema screenings. I would urge anyone wishing to mark Holocaust Memorial Day to visit the HMD website and join us in standing together against persecution.”