Last Friday (26th January) the PCC Mark Shelford joined hundreds of people who gathered in Bristol to commemorate those killed in the Holocaust.
The annual City’s Civic Commemoration event, themed Fragility of Freedom, took place at City Hall. Among the speakers was Stephen Breuer, originally from Hungary who shared his lived experience and how he survived the Holocaust but many of his family members were killed.
The over 150 people who gathered in City Hall also heard further talks from 11-year-old school pupil and activist, Elinor Beard, Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox, Deputy Mayor of Bristol Councillor Asher Craig, and sixth formers from Bristol schools, who shared their learning from Auschwitz.
Elinor talked about the lack of freedom in the minds of people who have experienced trauma.
Holocaust Memorial Day is held every year across Europe on 27 January, the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. Mr Breuer said he lost his father, three uncles, five aunts and lots of other family members in the Holocaust.
Besides hearing from powerful speakers, the PCC had the opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and visit information stalls, majority of whom were refugee and asylum-seeking supporting organisations.
Faith leaders Rabbi Mendy Singer and Father Richard McKay also led attendees in a ceremony.
On the theme, Bristol Holocaust Memorial Day steering group chairperson, Marian Liebmann, said this year’s theme is to remind people they need to look out for others who “are not being allowed to practise their religion or to be who they are.” Marian said, “she was pleased the event went well.”