Northampton marks the Holocaust with memorial prayers and music

Open Stage choir.
Open Stage choir.

Holocaust Memorial Day was yesterday remebered by Northampton Borough Council on Wednesday, 24 January, with two public events at The Guildhall.

A short ceremony took place at 12 noon in the Guildhall courtyard, followed by a larger community event in the Great Hall in the evening, where community groups and dignitaries delivered a series of readings and performances inspired by this year’s memorial day theme: “The power of words.”

The Open Stage Choir.

The Open Stage Choir.

The evening began at 6.30pm, with a welcome from the Mayor of Northampton, Councillor Gareth Eales, followed by a programme of music, film, poetry and dance, concluding with the blowing of the Shofar and memorial prayers, led by the Northampton Hebrew Congregation.

Speakers included Julian Harrison from the Holocaust Memorial Trust, Northamptonshire Police Chief Inspector Dave Lawson and William Duncan, Chair of the Northampton Inter Faith Forum.

Councillor Anna King, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Community Safety said: “These events give us the opportunity to come together to honour survivors, remember the dead and reflect on some difficult questions about prejudice, persecution and suffering.

“It’s also a chance to remember victims of later genocides, including those in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur and reinforce the message that antisemitism and hate crime will not be tolerated."

Open Stage.

Open Stage.

The events took place ahead of the global Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January, which also marks the liberation date of the Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945.

PHD Student Uta Rautenberg.

PHD Student Uta Rautenberg.

The chair of Northampton Inter Faith Forum, William Duncan.

The chair of Northampton Inter Faith Forum, William Duncan.

Starlight Stage School.

Starlight Stage School.