First online Holocaust Memorial Day event herald a great success

Civic, community and faith partners came together to attend an online event to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) on Wednesday January 27th. The event was organised by the Kent Equality Cohesion Council and Cohesion Plus in partnership with Dartford Borough Council.

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day this year was “Be the light in the Darkness”, to encourage everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities have resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during, and after genocide.

The event featured online presentations by a range of speakers including Gerald Rose from the Catford and Bromley Synagogue, who spoke about the importance of teaching young people the history of the Holocaust. He was followed by Rabi Mati Kirschenbaum from Bromley Reform Synagogue, who talked about how the Holocaust impacted his family, whilst Fiyaz Mughal from Faith Matters emphasised the importance of inter-faith work, and told the story of the “Righteous Muslims” who saved Jewish lives during World War 2.

Civic contributions were made by Cllr Jeremy Kite MBE the Leader of Dartford Borough Council, Cllr Roger Gough the Leader of Kent County Council, Deputy Chief Constable Tony Blaker, and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Frank Martin.

Gurvinder Sandher the CEO of Kent Equality Cohesion Council commented, “It is so imperative that we commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and learn the lessons of history. The whole ethos of our work and our partnership with Dartford Borough Council and local community and faith organisations is for us to all come together and celebrate all that binds us rather than what divides us. As only by standing together can we tackle insidious agendas and viewpoints that seek to de-stabilise our communities.

Dartford Borough Council Leader Jeremy Kite MBE said, “Holocaust Memorial Day is a powerful reminder of how quickly civilisation can descend into chaos and hatred. Sadly this danger is no less real today than in the past, and it is vital that we unite and stand together in building a more peaceful and tolerant world. The pandemic has shown the value of kindness, tolerance and compassion. It’s a lesson we must never forget.”