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Ealing comes together for Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 remembrance at Ealing Town Hall

Residents across Ealing came together today (27 January 2023) at Ealing Town Hall to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2023, and remember the millions of people who suffered or died during the Holocaust.  The date of 27 January marks the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

More than 100 people from all ages and backgrounds attended the event which took place at the Nelson Room and which ended with a Jewish memorial prayer conducted by Rabbi Hershi Vogel of Ealing Synagogue.

Ealing Council councillors from across all parties attended along with local MPs, Dr Rupa Huq, Ealing Central and Acton and Virendra Sharma, Ealing Southall.  Dr Onkar Sahota, chair of the London Assembly and member of the London Assembly for Ealing and Hillingdon also attended.

Ealing coming together for Holocaust Memorial Day
Ealing coming together for Holocaust Memorial Day

This year’s theme was Ordinary People, remembering the millions of people who suffered or died during the Holocaust.

the Mayor of Ealing, Councillor Mohinder Midha
the Mayor of Ealing, Councillor Mohinder Midha

The commemoration was led by the Mayor of Ealing, Councillor Mohinder Midha who was joined with other representatives from across the borough including Leader of the council, Councillor Peter Mason, The King’s local representative, Deputy Lieutenant Richard Kornicki, Rabbi Hershi Vogel of Ealing Synagogue, Reverend Dean Ayres the associate rector of Acton Parish, David Austin from Holocaust Memorial Day Trustee and Anthony Bennett from the Metropolitan Police.

In opening the event, the Mayor said: “I’m delighted to welcome you here today on this very special and significant occasion. The pledges that will be read later our values and beliefs that we all share and should live by. It is important that the students are here today to ensure this message is passed down the generation forever. This ceremony is a sign of our commitment.”

The 7 Holocaust Pledges
The 7 Holocaust Pledges


Students from Drayton Manor High School, Ealing Fields High School and Elthorne Park High School attended and joined in by taking part in the proceedings. As the dignitaries were reading The 7 Holocaust Pledges, the students joined in by giving their personal pledges in between each reading of the 7 pledges.

One student read her personal pledge: “I have pledged to fight against injustice and defend those who are persecuted in the new world of social media. In the new world of social media fake news is spread from those who are trying to cause harm. I won’t spread this, but to spread kindness to make a greater impact on the future. I think one of the most important things is not to be a bystander and look out for those in society, no matter their race, religion, sexuality, disability, or whatever else might make them seem different. I will not just stand by or turn a blind die. Even if I’m not the victim. I won’t be a bystander and let it happen again.”

Ealing Council leader Councillor Peter Mason

Councillor Mason said: “We cannot imagine in our wildest possible nightmares, that what could come to pass in the modern age that the horrors of Holocaust could be repeated. But the genocides that have followed it, and the precariousness and the fragility of our democracy, and of our society, give rise to the ever present reality that something could come to pass. But if and only if ordinary people, Like, like you and me, turns to other ordinary people, like you and me, and failed to see in each other’s eyes The fundamental principles, the quality of justice, and other common society.”

Other councillors from Ealing Council giving a pledge during the commemoration event included : Councillor Connie Hersch, Councillor Julian Gallant, Councillor Blerina Hashani and Councillor Jasbir Anand.

The King’s local representative, Deputy Lieutenant Richard Kornicki
The King’s local representative, Deputy Lieutenant Richard Kornicki

The King’s local representative, Deputy Lieutenant Richard Kornicki said:

“I would like to address my remarks particularly to the young people here. It’s very easy to look on the Holocaust as something you learn about in history with Henry the Eighth, with William the Conqueror, with all these other things that happened in the past that don’t affect your lives now, for your future choices.

“These events that we commemorate today, right to remember them were carried out by ordinary people like me, people like you, and the choices they make. Some people were directly engaged in them. Others turned a blind eye or just got on with their lives quietly because that was the way the world seemed to be these days.

“But today, we are not just remembering the past. We’re also making pledges about the future and our future conduct. Because to every young person here, I say with no shadow of doubt that in your lifetime, you will face these choices. They are not choices that only occurred in the past. within your lifetime. You will hear people discussing the question of whether your grandparents are now in their ages. And we’re now frail should stay alive and should be a drain on public resources which are so scarce and it will all be discussed in very, very reasonable terms, because you certainly realise what you need to remember is that the Nazi Holocaust didn’t start with a large scale, industrialised killing machine.

“It started by killing the mentally ill. Those with Down syndrome. Those who are regarded as worthless, whose lives could contribute nothing. And this is the point, the moment you decide that one person’s life has no worth. You have crossed the threshold. And from then on, it’s simply a question of scale for you, we’ll find those questions being put to you. Not immediately, not directly. It will come in the context of series of articles in the newspapers programmes on televisions that gradual shift in the mindset of the country. But you will still have to make your own decision and to be aware of what you’re reflecting on. And that will come to each one of you. Without doubt. How you will deal with it is a matter for your consciences. But there is something you can do now. You can practice making the right response. Now, this is about whether we value another person’s life and their identity or not.

“The next time in school, you see someone for whatever reason, abusing one of your colleagues, telling them they look awful, telling them they’re not worth anything telling them they’re stupid. That is the beginning, the beginning of the same slippery slope about not valuing a human life if you practice now, to support and value human life, in all forms at all stages. When you face these questions for the future, you will be in a better place to take the right decision, as I’m sure you will. That’s why we now make pledges about the past and about the future. So can I ask you please to stand for the pledge”.

Reverend Dean Ayres
Reverend Dean Ayres

Reverend Dean Ayres gave a reading from Night, the memoir of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel which tells of his experience of being deported to  Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

Rabbi Hershi Vogel
Rabbi Hershi Vogel

Rabbi Hershi Vogel of Ealing Synagogue said: “We act on what we pledge. Pledge is not just a pledge a speech, but we have to act upon it. Let us hope and pray that we all internalise the fact that the world of action is the most important thing in society today. And where we can see a world of peace and harmony for all of mankind.”

Photo gallery of the Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration at Ealing Town Hall



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