Holocaust Memorial Day, an international day of remembrance which takes place every year on January 27 to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, is being marked by councillors across Three Rivers District Council.
Councillor Keith Martin, chairman of Three Rivers District Council, has described what Holocaust Memorial Day means to him.
Cllr Martin said: “I was 13-years-old when the television documentary series World at War was first broadcast. What began as something I saw for no better reason than my parents watched it soon became engrossing and disturbing.
“The 13-year-old me had one question; why? Being born 15 years after the Second World War ended it was not my lived experience. My parents? Yes, but not me. Towards the end of the series, one programme focused on the Holocaust. I had heard of the Holocaust, but knew little about it.
“The images seen in that programme and the narrative of the speakers were horrific, shocking and beyond my understanding. Nothing I had seen had been so awful. Getting on for five decades later I still cannot comprehend, nor will I ever, how something so horrific could have been perpetrated by one set of people on another.”
“The passage of time will inevitably mean that survivors and other witnesses to the Holocaust will no longer be here to bear witness in person. Humanity must not forget, however, hence the vital importance of Holocaust Memorial Day.
“For me the day ensures that the world remembers, pays respect to the millions of lives lost and the unbearable suffering of their surviving relatives.
“Last year I was honoured to be one of the Three Rivers councillors who marked Holocaust Memorial Day with the raising of a flag. COVID-19 means that we cannot gather together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in person this year.
“As reflected in this article, however, the leaders of all political groups within Three Rivers very much wanted to mark this occasion and to do so on behalf of all councillors and staff at Three Rivers.”