Untold Stories : Holocaust Memorial Day 2011

Untold Stories : Holocaust Memorial Day 2011

It’s Going to Rain
Valdemar Kalinin

It’s about to rain, getting darker,
The leaves have long fallen from the trees,
Leaving desolation where just an old man
Picking handfuls of earth where Roma

During this war Nazis shot them dead,
Roma seized and put in wagons, oh
Filled with children and the Roma old,
No mercy shown to a single soul.

Buried here auntie, grandpa, grannie,
But God spared a small one,
Who visits to imagine,
The perished wait for him.

No monument stands,
Except in the minds of the old,
Woods and land bore witness,
This older man declares:
Roma are buried here, don’t disturb this land!

There Is a Last Solitary Coach
David Vogel

There is a last, solitary coach about to leave.
Let us get in and go,
For it won’t wait.

I have seen young girls going softly
With sad faces
That looked ashamed and sorry
Like purple sunsets,

And chubby, pink children
Who went simply
Because they were called.

And I’ve seen men
Who stepped proud and straight through the world’s streets,
Whose large eyes went ranging
Far and wide,
They too got in calmly
And left.

And we are the last.
Day is declining.
The last, solitary coach is about to leave.
Let us too get in quietly
And go,
For it won’t wait.

First They Came
Pastor Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialist
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Statement of Commitment

HMD has taken place in the UK since 2001. It was established at a meeting on 27 January 2000, when representatives from forty-four governments around the world met in Stockholm to discuss Holocaust education, remembrance and research. At the conclusion of the forum, the delegates unanimously signed a declaration. This forms the HMD Statement of Commitment which is used a basis for HMD events in the UK and Internationally.

  • we recognise that the Holocaust shook the foundations of modern civilisation. Its unprecedented character and horror will always hold universal meaning
  • we believe the Holocaust must have a permanent place in our nation’s collective memory. We honour the survivors still with us, and reaffirm our shared goals of mutual understanding and justice
  • we must make sure that future generations understand the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its consequences. We vow to remember the victims of Nazi persecution and of all genocides
  • we value the sacrifices of those who have risked their lives to protect or rescue victims, as a touchstone of the human capacity for good in the face of evil
  • we recognise that humanity is still scarred by the belief that race, religion, disability or sexuality make some people’s lives worth less than others’. Genocide, anti-semitism, racism, xenophobia and discrimination still continue. We have a shared responsibility to fight these evils
  • we pledge to strengthen our efforts to promote education and research about the Holocaust and other genocides. We will do our utmost to make sure that the lessons of such events are fully learnt
  • we will continue to encourage Holocaust remembrance by holding an annual UK Holocaust Memorial Day. We condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism. We value a free, respectful, and democratic society

Many organisers have incorporated the Statement of Commitment into their remembrance events, reminding everyone why we commemorate HMD. It may be appropriate at your event to ask different community representatives to each read a clause of the Statement of Commitment as a symbol of joining together to fight all forms of discrimination.

In order to increase understanding of the purpose of HMD and the principles which guide commemorations of HMD amongst diverse communities and new migrants to the UK the Statement of Commitment has been translated into a variety of languages.

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