A series of events are taking place across west Cheshire to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2018.
The day is commemorated on January 27 each year to coincide with the date of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army in 1945 and to remember the countless individuals who perished in the Holocaust, as well as in other subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has organised events in schools, colleges and libraries across the borough, as well as working in conjunction with Chester Cathedral, to enable pupils, residents and communities to reflect on the atrocities and consider their contemporary relevance today.
Councillor Karen Shore, the council’s Cabinet member for environment and also chairman of the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE), said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is a time to remember, reflect and learn the lessons of the past and to understand where prejudice, discrimination, racism and intolerance can lead if left unchecked.
“We wanted to provide a range of events to remember and commemorate what has happened in memory of the countless victims of genocide and in the hope that such intolerance is never again allowed to flourish.”
Chester Cathedral is hosting a conference for Key Stage Three schoolchildren on January 23 with key speaker Joanna Millan, who was born Bela Rosenthal in Berlin in August 1942.
At the end of February 1943, Bela’s father was taken from the streets of Berlin and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he was murdered on arrival.
Later that year, in June, Bela and her mother were taken from their home and sent to the Terezín (Theresienstadt) Ghetto north of Prague.
In 1944, when Bela was 18-months-old, her mother contracted tuberculosis due to the conditions in the camp, leaving Bela orphaned and alone in the camp.
Members of the public are welcome to attend Joanna’s testimony, from 10.15-11.45am in the Nave.
This event is being organised by the cathedral in conjunction with the council and SACRE.
In Ellesmere Port the council and University Church of England Academy (UCEA) are working in partnership with the Anne Frank Trust to run an educational project with students and workshops with local primary schools.
On February 1 there will be an open evening from 6-8pm for residents to visit the Anne Frank Trust Exhibition at UCEA. The event is open to everyone and there is no need to book.
Local author and historian Anthony Annakin-Smith will be giving a talk at a number of west Cheshire’s libraries, showing and discussing original correspondence written by prisoners while they were being held in Second World War concentration camps and ghettoes, including Auschwitz and Dachau.
Talks take place at: Neston Library from 7-8.30pm on January 24; Lache Library from 5.30-7pm on January 25; Winsford Library from 1-2.30pm on January 26; Little Sutton Library from 7-8.30pm on January 26.
Admission is £2 and to book contact the libraries directly. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.