Monday, January 14, 2008

Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony

I attended a very special ceremony today in St John's Gardens, in the Peace Garden, behind St George's Hall.

An all-faith congregation, albeit with the majority being from the City's Jewish population, listened intently and in silent and private tears as a recording was played of the first official and safe Jewish religious ceremony to be held in Germany in a decade, during the liberation of Auschwitz.

The scratchy recording of survivors struggling to sing the prayers but giving it their all, was the most moving thing I think I have ever heard.

Civic leaders, led by the Lord Mayor and joined by the Chief of Police, the Recorder and other dignatories, with representatives of the Jewish community, accompanied by music from King David's School Orchestra, laid white roses at the Holocaust Remembrance monument which was created on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

As we waited in the queue to process to the ceremony, Councillors talked amongst ourselves about the very few people in Europe who stood up to the Nazis and helped the persecuted to escape. We talked about the personal strength and commitment that the people who managed the Kindertransport for instance had shown, and others who worked hard to protect and save individual Jews from certain death. We wondered whether we would have had the strength and commitment to put "doing the right thing" before personal and family safety.

It is a fact that most people, the vast majority of the populations of Europe, stood by. This makes the actions of those who did do the right thing so much more important. We will never know whether we would have resisted, however much we hope that we would have found a way, thank God we have never been put to that particular test and thank God that when the moment came there were those who stepped up and were counted.


Anonymous said...

it is indeed an honour for Liverpool to hold the holocaust memorial. All right mided people would agree with his comment.
I would like to think we have learnt our lessons, and something like this could not happen in my lifetime. Sadly it has, through people like Milosovic, chocheschu in Rumania and the genocide in Rwanda. When will we ever learn?

Anonymous said...

Louise, On a lighter note, I have been making several(positive) comments on your blog as "anonymous"
The reason for this is my google blogger i.d. is not working, despite me changing my password. I dont wish to make comments anonymously, as I stand by what I write, and dont hide behind anyone. You may remember my previous (all positive)comments by my nickname (scouseboy)
I will preface all future anonymous comments with my nickname.
Keep up the good work in Kenny, I am sure you will reap the rewards next May.