Holocaust Memorial Day: What is it, what is the theme this year, is there a badge and are there any services or events taking place in Portsmouth?

HOUSEHOLDS around the UK will light a candle in a stand against hate and prejudice today for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Thursday, 27th January 2022, 11:31 am

Today (January 27) marks Holocaust Memorial Day, which is a day to honour, remember and share the stories of those persecuted through genocide.

There will be many events taking place across the UK today, from lighting a candle to the online Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony.

The day is sometimes mistaken for Yom Hashoah, which is a separate memorial day that is held in May where the Jewish community remembers lost relatives and ancestors.

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Here is everything you need to know about Holocaust Memorial Day:

What is Holocaust Memorial Day?

Holocaust Memorial Day remembers those who have lost their lives, those who survived, and those whose lives were changed due to genocide.

The Holocaust Memorial Trust (HDMT), a charity which is funded by the UK government to support and promote the day of remembrance, state that the day is to ‘remember 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 Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.’

On this day, many will come together to learn more about those whose lives have been affected by genocide.

The HDMT says: ‘Holocaust Memorial Day is a day for everyone.

‘The Holocaust was a tragically defining episode of the 20th Century and its unprecedented character will always hold universal meaning.

‘People from all parts of the UK and of all ethnicities, religions, and interests come together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.’

Why is Holocaust Memorial Day held on January 27?

The day of remembrance is held annually on January 27.

The date is significant as it marks the anniversary of the liberation of the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz Birkenau.

Is there a theme this year?

Each year, there is a new theme for Holocaust Memorial Day.

The theme this year is 'One Day' which has been chosen in the hope that one day, there will be no genocide.

Survivors of genocide and the Holocaust often talk about the one day in their life where everything changed, either for the worst or for the better.

Previous Holocaust Memorial Day themes include:

-Be the light in the darkness (2021)

-Stand Together (2020)

-Torn from home (2019

-The power of words (2018)

-How can life go on? (2017)

Is there a Holocaust Memorial Day badge?

Each year, many people wear a Holocaust Memorial Day badge to commemorate those who lost their lives.

The badge is a purple and pink flame and is worn on the lapel.

Prime minister Boris Johnson and MPs wore a purple Holocaust Memorial Day badge during yesterday's PMQs.

If you want to support the HMDT or purchase a badge, please see here.

What events are taking place this year?

A UK ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day will be available to stream online tonight between 7pm and 8pm.

Households across the UK will be encouraged to light candles to put in their windows at 8pm to remember those who lost their lives, and to stand up against hatred and prejudice.

Those who light a candle can share a picture on social media, using the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay and #LightTheDarkness.

To watch the ceremony, please register on the HMDT website.

In Portsmouth, there will be an event at the D-Day Story in Southsea to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

This event is open to the public and will be held from 12pm to 3pm today.

Entry is free and guests will be able to explore artwork created by students from the University of Portsmouth and Mayville High School inspired by Holocaust literature.

To find out more, please see here.

A public service of commemoration will take place tonight in Gosport at The Church of St Thomas the Apostle.

The service will begin at 7pm and you can find out more here.

Another public ceremony has taken place this morning at Havant Cemetery, led by Cllr Leah Turner.

There will also be a number of private services taking place in Portsmouth throughout the day.

To discover other Holocaust Memorial Day services and events, please see here.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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