Communities across Thurrock are invited to a special memorial service in Grays to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day featuring tributes read by schoolchildren and councillors.
On Friday 27 January, the annual memorial event, hosted by Thurrock Council, will be held at the Herbert E. Brooks Memorial Rest Garden, Grays, RM17 6RU, at 11am.
Pupils from William Edwards School, Grays Convent High School, Little Thurrock Primary School and Woodside Academy in Grays will contribute with readings and music. Tributes will also be made by the Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr James Halden, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities, Cllr Qaisar Abbas, Cllr John Kent and Reverend Canon Darren Barlow.
Cllr Abbas said: "The 27 January is a special day in the calendar when communities across Thurrock come together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
"We remember the victims of the Holocaust and further genocides, including the Jewish people and millions of others who have been targeted because of their gender, faith, culture, disability or sexual orientation.
"This year's theme is 'Ordinary People', which highlights how ordinary people let genocide happen, perpetrate genocide and those ordinary people who are persecuted. This also allows us to consider how ordinary people can play a bigger part than they imagine they can to challenge prejudice today.
"The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is encouraging people across the UK to safely light a candle or turn on an LED candle at 4pm on Friday 27 January and reflect during a national moment. The Thameside Theatre will also light up in purple in solidarity."
Thurrock Film Club will hold a special screening of 'Jojo Rabbit' at Grays Town Park Café on Saturday 28 January at 5pm. Tickets cost £3 per person and limited.
A Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration hosted by the Chelmsford Jewish Community and Chelmsford City Council will take place on Monday 30 January at 7pm in the Council Chamber at Chelmsford City Council, Chelmsford, CM1 1JE. Special guest Susie Barnett BEM will speak about her first-hand experience as a survivor of the Nazi regime. To reserve a place, email the Chelmsford Jewish Community secretary, email@example.com
In 2020, Thurrock Council adopted the working definition of antisemitism as set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day, go to thurrock.gov.uk/hmd