Holocaust Memorial Day

auschwitz hmd 638

HMD at Auschwitz -Birkenau

Holocaust Memorial Day is also known by the initials HMD. This is held on January 27th each year.

This is a national commemoration day in the United Kingdom dedicated to the remembrance of the Jews who suffered in the Holocaust, under Nazi and their allies persecution.

It was first held in January 2001, and has been held on the same day ever since.The date was chosen as it was the anniversary of the date, which saw the liberation of Auschwitz Concentration Camp by Soviet forces on January 27th, 1945.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Warren Grynberg,a cherished member of the Holocaust Historical Society recorded his personal thoughts and feelings on this years commemoration. I thank him for sharing these oh so painful feelings:

The UK Commemorative Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 was held virtually because of the present Covid-19 lock-down. In past years many thousands of people of all religions and colours would gather in London for this important event. The importance of 27 January marks the day that Auschwitz -Birkenau Concentration Camp was liberated by Soviet troops.

Today's ceremony began with a heartfelt speech by Prince Charles the Prince of Wales, Patron of the Holocaust Memorial Trust. He says.. 'the day allows us to reflect together, on those desperately painful chapters of our shared history.... let us never forget.'

A selection of poems and music recitals were performed by distinguished guests and orchestras culminating in the prayer 'El Mane Rachami recited by a deportee from the Kindertransports, Ernst Simon, BEM. A number of very distinguished guests gave heart- rendering talks, which ended with the participants standing in solidarity with those who suffered in other genocides, such as Uighur Muslims in China, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, atrocities in Rwanda, Cambodia, Hutus and Tutsis etc.

A heart-felt speech was given by Ephraim Mervis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregation of the Commonwealth... his most heart-felt words spoken were ... 'never again.'

This one hour of poignant remembrance and solidarity culminated by the lighting of six candles for the world to remember the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

We have also to remember the millions and millions of others who were oppressed and murdered for their different beliefs, be they of a different colour, Homosexuals, the sick and the weak. The Holocaust was one of these atrocities, but we have to remember that we as Jews suffered with the most lost - 6 million of us out of one race and religion.

At 8:00 pm. we were called to light a solitary candle in our windows so that we, and passing strangers, should never forget -Zchor

I could have written more. However on the 27th January, I was overtaken with such grief, remembering my own family who were taken to the Treblinka death camp on the 22nd August 1942. Tears welling in my eyes as I remember my beloved father, may his soul rest in the arms of Hashem. He was the only survivor of his entire family, who refused to talk, until I announced to him that my dear wife and I were going on a pilgrimage to the tiny schtetl of Losice in Eastern Poland, where he was born. Then onwards to Treblinka, where I could say Kaddish, and light a candle.

Please G-d I shall make this journey with my wife and my dear friend Chris Webb, when this pandemic is over.

Warren Grynberg
29th January 2021