Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 in Coventry

In Coventry, the Holocaust Memorial Day event will take place in Broadgate and include music, speakers and poetry.

Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, Germany.

Coventry’s Holocaust Memorial Day event takes place in Broadgate on Monday, 27 January at 11:45 am.

The national theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 is “Stand Together”, representing the hope that the public will stand together to promote peace, tolerance and remember the many victims of genocide and hate in recent history.  

In Coventry, the event will include music, speakers and poetry.

The first speaker will be Clive Stone, who visited Auschwitz last November and was privileged to meet Mindu, one of the few remaining Holocaust survivors. What she told Clive will stay with him for the rest of his life…

Next, the Coventry City Council choir will be singing a Jewish song called Eli Eli. Written by Hannah Senesh who, through her brief but noteworthy life, became a symbol of idealism and self-sacrifice.

She escaped from Hungary at the age of 18 and travelled to Israel. In 1943, at the height of World War II, she volunteered to go into Nazi-controlled areas in Europe to save Jewish lives. In 1944 she parachuted into Yugoslavia. After staying with the partisans, she went to Hungary, where she was discovered and executed by the Germans. She is known both for her heroism and her poetry.    

The second speaker is Peter Skerrett from Unite the Union. As the leading trade union rep within Coventry City Council Peter will talk about the Dachau Concentration Camp, a camp meant to incarcerate and “re-educate” Socialists, Trade Unionists and Communists who the Nazi regime feared as an opposition to their ideology.

Following this, poems will be read by Coventry Young Ambassadors from Good Shepherd and Stoke Park primary schools, including “The Riddle” by William Heyen and “A Holocaust Prayer” by Philip Hall. 

Students from Coventry University Student Union will also be contributing to the event as the university plays a key part in the city’s international peace work.

The event will end with final words from Councillor Abdul Salam Khan and music from the Coventry Music Brass Quartet.  

Members of the public are then invited to the Lord Mayor’s Hospitality Suite in the Council House at 1:45 pm to hear Clive Stone take part in a question and answer session. 

Cllr Abdul Salam Khan, deputy leader of Coventry City Council said, “We hope people will stand together against hatred and prejudice. This city has a proud history of welcoming people from all cultures and nationalities. Join us for this thought-provoking event and show your support to help prevent future atrocities.”

Lord Mayor, Cllr Linda Bigham, who will be speaking at the event, added: “It is 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps and 25 years since the massacre of 8000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, Bosnia. We can all learn from history and this event helps us recognise and pay our respect to the millions who died during the Holocaust and more recent genocides.”