International Holocaust Day event held in North Lanarkshire

27 January 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps

Holocaust memorial day

A ceremony marking International Holocaust Memorial day took place outside the Civic Centre in Motherwell, today (Monday 27 January).

The theme of this year's Memorial Day is "Stand Together" and Provost Jean Jones and Danielle Bett of the Jewish Leadership Council jointly raised the Holocaust Memorial flag in front of pupils from Chryston, Our Lady's (Motherwell) and Dalziel secondary schools, councillors and staff.

The Provost, Cllr Heather Brannan-McVey and Des Murray, Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Council then each signed the 'Stockholm Declaration', which commits to remembering the six million Jewish victims and the millions of other people who have fallen victim of Holocausts around the world.

Provost  Jones said: "We are proud to adopt the declaration principles of education, remembrance and research here in North Lanarkshire, so that the Holocaust is never forgotten.

"By signing the declaration, we are pledging to help educate people of the very real impact of such harrowing events and try to help prevent future genocides."

Danielle Bett of the Jewish Leadership Council added: "This year was an especially poignant occasion as it is also the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during the Second World War, and it's also 25 years since the Bosnian genocide.

"It's absolutely crucial that we learn from the past and that we work together to remember the horrors of the holocaust to ensure it can never happen again."

Kilsyth Academy pupils Millie Mason and Alana Thomson visited Auschwitz in November last year, along with pupils from schools across Scotland. After the visit, Millie wrote about her experiences: "On returning from Poland, we've had time to reflect on what we had heard and seen at Auschwitz-Birkenau and it's become obvious to us that racist and sectarian attitudes still exist and have a major effect on life today.

"The ongoing tensions between religions is not decreasing, but becoming more widespread and influencing more communities across the world. We see it on the news, in sport and even in politics and yet it seems to go unnoticed, just like Hitler's rise to power went unacknowledged until it was too late.

"We must stop anti-Semitic attitudes before it's too late. By sharing our experience and knowledge through schools and the local community we can make a difference in making sure that history does not repeat itself."

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