Holocaust Memorial Day in Bedford brings people together to reflect upon atrocities

Holocaust memorial event in Bedford 2018
Holocaust memorial event in Bedford 2018

A series of events were held in Bedford on Saturday to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
The day’s theme was The Power of Words, with a commemoration in the Harpur Suite including a recitation of the Kaddish – the Jewish mourning prayer. A commemoration at the Anne Frank Tree in Russell Park took place on Monday, featuring the lighting of a candle of remembrance and words from Anne Frank’s Diary. Participants walked to The Higgins for the launch of the exhibition ‘Anne Frank & Family’.

A series of events were held in Bedford on Saturday to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The day encourages people to reflect upon the terrible consequences of the mass murder of some six million Jews and other persecuted groups by the German Nazi regime during the Second World War, and subsequent genocides.

The theme for the day was The Power of Words, with a civic commemoration in the Harpur Suite including readings and the recitation of the Kaddish - the Jewish mourning prayer.

A Commemoration at the Anne Frank Tree in Russell Park took place on Monday, featuring the lighting of a candle of remembrance and words from Anne Frank’s Diary.

Participants took the short walk to The Higgins for the launch of the exhibition ‘Anne Frank & Family’ which is on display until February 18. Gillian Walnes Perry MBE, co-founder of the Anne Frank Trust, delivered a keynote address.

A partnership of community organisations - Bedford Council of Faiths, The Higgins Bedford, Remembering Srebrenica, the Anne Frank Trust, URUMURI, University of Bedfordshire Community and Faith and The Place Theatre had created a programme of events from January 23 which included plays and films, a schools programme and survivors storytelling.

The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “The commemoration events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day are always incredibly moving, as we come together in memory of the millions killed in the Holocaust and in subsequent genocides. Holocaust Memorial Day provides a vital opportunity to remind ourselves of the lessons that these tragedies teach us about the impact of intolerance and discrimination of any form.”

The Revd. Cass Howes, who chairs Bedford Council of Faiths, said: “It’s important that we remember and acknowledge the past, but more important that we move on and work together to create a hopeful future.”