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Commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day - how Stockton-on-Tees Borough residents can reflect and remember

24 January 2023
An image of a candle. Text says: We're marking Holocaust Memorial Day

An image of a candle. Text says: We're marking Holocaust Memorial Day

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day with a programme of events on Friday, 27 January.

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place each year on 27 January to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution and in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Ross Patterson, will lead a poignant event at 5.30pm on Friday evening which will include a minute's silence for those who lost their lives. 

The moment of reflection will include specially chosen poetry read by Joseph Casling with music played by violinist, Kaavya Venkatesh (Tees Valley Youth Orchestra) and pianist, Elizabeth Shevels (Teesside High School).

Special guest Shabana Marshall, Senior Lecturer at St Mary's University, Twickenham, and Educator for the Holocaust Education Trust, will then give a speech and light a remembrance candle.

Residents are welcome to attend the event, which is free but ticketed and places are limited. Tickets are available by visiting the Eventbrite website.

Visitors will also be able to sign a book of reflection at every library in Stockton-on-Tees.

Throughout Holocaust Memorial Day local historian Martin Peagam will visit libraries across the Borough to discuss how Jewish people from Eastern Europe - some escaping persecution and others seeking opportunity - made new lives on Teesside. The event, called 'Teesside's Response to Jewish Refugees', will be held at the following libraries and times:

  • Stockton Central Library, 10.45am-11.45am
  • Norton Library, 1.15pm-2.15pm
  • Billingham Library, 3.45pm-4.45pm

The events are free but booking is essential. To book a place contact Stockton Reference Library on 01642 528079.

Stockton-on-Tees' memorial lighting will also bathe Newport Bridge, Stockton Town Centre and Stockton's riverside in purple on Friday evening to mark this important global day of reflection.

Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Health, Culture and Leisure, said: "It's incredibly important that we mark World Holocaust Day to remember these atrocities and to challenge prejudice and hatred so that they are never repeated.

"I would encourage everyone to come along to one of our events where you can learn more about the Holocaust, reflect, and honour the lives and experiences of people affected by the Holocaust and genocide."

The UK Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day 2022 will be streamed online on Thursday, 26 January at 7pm. Households across the country are then being encouraged to safely light candles in their windows at 4pm on Friday, 27 January to remember those lost, and to stand against prejudice and hatred today.

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