Coventry hosts National Holocaust Commemoration

Coventry hosted the National Holocaust Commemoration on Sunday 25 January, which saw crowds of local people attend alongside national leaders and survivors of genocide and conflict. The National Commemoration has been hosted in a different city each year since the inaugural event in London in 2001.

As well as the commemoration, the annual Holocaust Memorial Day is recognised across the world today, which is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945. It aims to remember the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides.

This year’s theme is ‘Stand up to Hatred’, and explores the expression of hatred in speech and propaganda. A priority for Coventry as host is the need to communicate with the children and young people in the region to give them a better understanding of the Holocaust.

The commemoration also aims to look at what these genocides can teach us about hatred and conflict today. This is particularly relevant considering the events in Gaza over the past month. Last week Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal addressed the Israeli public last, saying “you are carrying out a new holocaust.”

Events are taking place on campus throughout January. As reported in the Boar last week, Warwick Volunteers planted 500 snowdrops in the meadow by Tocil Lakes. This was part of Coventry City Council’s scheme to plant 110,000 snowdrops around the City in memory of the 11 million people who lost their lives in the Holocaust.

As well as this, a series of films, question and answer sessions and talks have been taking place in the Warwick Arts Centre. On Sunday Academy-award winning documentary, Anne Frank Revisited, was screened, and featured a question and answer session with director Jon Blair afterwards.

On Tuesday 27 January the Arts Centre presents “Burning issues:The Devil Rode on Horseback” which is also followed by guest speaker Phil Cox, a video journalist who shot much of the Darfur crisis actuality used in the film. Other films such as “The Boy in Striped Pyjamas”, and “Waltz with Bashir” are being shown.


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