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Monday 19 December 2022

Holocaust Memorial Day event to be held at Salisbury Guildhall

Salisbury City Council are working with local residents and older people’s champion Irene Kohler to place Holocaust Memorial Day in the City’s annual calendar as a moment for local people to remember, reflect and increase understanding of the impacts of genocide across generations and borders.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place each year on 27 January. The international day remembers the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution of other groups and in genocides that followed in, for example, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust theme for 2023 is “Ordinary People” which highlights the ordinary people who let genocide happen, the ordinary people who perpetrated genocide, the ordinary people who rescued and the ordinary people who were persecuted.

This year, an event will take place on Friday 27 January at the Guildhall for invited representatives of communities, groups, organisations and faiths from across the City. The event, hosted between 10.00am and noon, will include a 2-minute silence, music and video materials and local History students reading first-hand accounts provided by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

Salisbury City Council are already working with a number of local residents with direct generational experience of the Holocaust, one of whom will be speaking at the event. As well as this, the Salisbury City Council Communities Manager is reaching out to groups and individuals across the city for whom genocide is part of their personal or cultural history. This event should be rooted in the experience of those with personal connection, so the City Council is particularly interested to hear from anyone who may wish to speak or share a story in some way.

Irene Kohler is a second-generation holocaust survivor and said of Holocaust Memorial Day, “The murder by the Nazis of six million people, mainly Jews was a horrific event which affected so many families including my own, and threatened far more, should never be forgotten. Sadly, other atrocities have followed and are still happening in the world today, including in Europe. It is fitting for the residents of Salisbury to pay homage to all victims of such atrocities through holocaust Memorial Day”

The Mayor of Salisbury, Cllr Tom Corbin said, “Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity for us to stop and remember and to tell future generations of the horror and persecution that took place on an unimaginable scale. History shows that we must always be prepared to speak out and confront all forms of racism and the importance of careful use of language from Parliamentarians to workplace rest rooms to school playgrounds and behind closed doors.”

The Mayor actively encourages people to take part and anyone who wishes to attend, represent a group, or become involved can contact the Communities Team directly on or call the office on 01722 417100.

All attendees of the event will be invited by the City Council to sign a memorial book, which will be opened annually on Holocaust Memorial Day from 2023 onwards.