Residents in Havering will be able to mark Holocaust Memorial Day at a special service in Romford on Sunday 25 January.
It will be held in Coronation Gardens, Main Road, from 2pm.
The service will give people an opportunity to remember victims of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, as well as to challenge hatred and persecution in the UK today.
Those attending will be welcomed by the Mayor of Havering, Councillor Linda Trew, before being addressed by Reverend Lee Sunderland, the Rabbi of Romford Synagogue.
The Mayor’s cadet, Corporal Harry Fant, will give a reading titled: Never Shall I Forget, by Elie Wiesel. There will be reflections by Reverend Mike Powers, of St Edward’s Church in Romford Market Place, and music from the Marshalls Park School Choir.
Following the service, there will be a reception at Romford and District Synagogue, where a new memorial will be consecrated at 2.45pm, and Holocaust survivor, Janine Webber, will share her own personal experiences. There will also be further music from Marshalls Park School.
Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on January 27 each year, commemorates the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Bireknau in January 1945. Memorial services are held throughout the UK on or around this day.
Councillor Linda Trew, Mayor of Havering, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day gives us an opportunity to understand and learn from those who have suffered oppression. It reminds us that we must never forget our responsibility to challenge discrimination, because sadly, it still very prevalent.
“Let’s take this chance to pay our respects to those who have endured unfair persecution and genocide over the years, and learn to appreciate and embrace the differences in others.”
Gidea Park Library, Monday 26 January, 2pm. Phone 01708 434978
Vienna born Otto Deutsch arrived in Britain a week before his 11th birthday, after fleeing his home following the German annexation of Austria in 1938. Otto, who was taken in by a Christian family, recalls his childhood experiences growing up in the UK.
Hornchurch Library, Thursday 15 January, 2.30pm. Phone 01708 434903
As a young boy, Ernest Simon witnessed the 1938 ‘Kristallnacht’ Nazi pogrom against Jewish people and businesses. In January 1939, his parents secured a place for him on the Kindertransport rescue mission to the UK and later joined him in England. Ernest recalls his, and his family’s, wartime experiences growing up in the UK.
South Hornchurch Library, Thursday 29 January, 7pm. Phone 01708 434921
Eric Murangwa, deputy chairman and programme co-ordinator of Football for Hope, Peace and Unity, and a survivor of the Holocaust in Rwanda, discusses his experiences and his role as an advocate for social change.
All events are free. Children may attend but parental guidance is advised due to the content of the talks.