Peterborough to remember suffering and sacrifice of millions killed in genocides on Holocaust Memorial Day

Peterborough will remember the suffering and sacrifice at a poignant ceremony on Holocaust Memoorial Day.

The memorial at St John's  Square. EMN-170126-163433009
The memorial at St John's Square. EMN-170126-163433009

The service will take place at St John’s Church in Peterborough city centre on Thursday 27 January at noon.

It will be led by The Dean of Peterborough, The Very Reverend Christopher Dalliston, and attended by The Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor Stephen Lane and civic dignitaries. The service will conclude with a wreath laying at the Holocaust stone.

Prior to the service starting a civic procession will leave the Town Hall at 11.35am, pausing at The Guildhall at 11.40am. Here there will be a drama performance by St John Fisher Catholic High School which the civic procession will view on its way to St John’s Church.

For those wishing to attend virtually, the Peterborough Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration will be broadcast on the council’s Youtube and Facebook channels from 12pm on Thursday 27 January. Residents can watch the event live or watch it back in full later.

The event will feature contributions from the Mayor of Peterborough, along with representatives from community groups and Cambridgeshire Police, centred around a theme of ‘One Day’.

Councillor Stephen Lane, the Mayor of Peterborough, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is a significant and poignant event in the world’s calendar, giving us all the chance to remember the victims of genocide and to learn from these events to ensure a better future.

“The theme of One Day is extremely poignant. Those who were targeted and persecuted held out for the One Day in the future when all their suffering would be over, hoping they would ‘all see the day of liberation’.

“It’s vitally important that we reflect on the atrocities of the past and share their stories with future generations. I am pleased this year we can be present and join together as a community in St John’s Church as well as offering a virtual service for those who are unable to attend.”

In the interests of keeping the numbers at the event in line with Covid-19 guidelines, the council have set up an Eventbrite link this year for people to use to book places for free.

Holocaust Memorial Day occurs every year on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. This date has come to represent other genocides which have been committed over the years, such as those in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Today, it serves to commemorate those who were murdered for who they were and to remind us to stand against prejudice and hatred.