Event to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2023


A public service to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day will be taking place at 11:00 am on Thursday 26 January in the Council’s Civic Suite.

Every year, this day of remembrance prompts us to think of those affected by the Holocaust, as well as more recent genocides such as those in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur.

This year's theme is “ordinary people” – a call for ‘everyday’ citizens to stand up to various forms of persecution that still exist today, rather than passively facilitating it through indifference or inaction. It serves as a reminder that negative sentiment and discrimination can take hold when good people do nothing to prevent it from doing so.

January 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of the largest Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland by Allied forces in 1945.

The event, which will last for around an hour, includes guest speaker George Vulkan, Rabbi Yehuda Pink, the Mayor of Solihull, Ken Meeson, and the Chief Superintendent of Solihull NPU, Andy Beard. Saqib Bhatti, the Member of Parliament for Meriden, is also planning to attend.

Poetry readings will be given by students from Langley School, whilst musicians from Solihull School will perform Spiegel im Spiegel, composed by Arvo Pärt, to open the event.

Attendees will be able to pay their respects by signing the book of remembrance for the first time since 2020.

The event will be also be livestreamed on Solihull Council’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@SolihullMBCouncil

The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Ken Meeson, said:

“The Holocaust threatened the very fabric of civilisation. It is vitally important that we come together each year to reflect on such appalling atrocities and to understand the circumstances which gave rise to them.

“Holocaust Memorial Day allows us to learn from the past and highlights our duty to resist genocide, and the discrimination and hatred that leads to it, for a better future.”

Members of the public are welcome to attend the event. However, as there are limited spaces, admittance will be on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.