Sunday, 4 February 2018

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY ABERDEEN 2018 - THE POWER OF WORDS

Holocaust Memorial Day is an annual event organised by Aberdeen City Council which the ATUC and local trade unions support. It took place this year on the 28th January.

Here ATUC Vice-President, Kathleen Kennedy, who attended to represent the ATUC gives an account of a very moving event. With thanks to Norman Adams, Aberdeen City Council for the photographs.

"Holocaust Memorial Day marks the liberation from Auschwitz-Birkenau which was the Nazi's largest death camp. Having been there last year I can tell you it was large - almost as large as a small town!

This event was held downstairs in the Belmont cinema which was most appropriate as we remember how many lost their lives and tried to hide from the Nazis.


The Lord Provost lit a remembrance candle at the beginning of the official event, which not only started the officially proceedings but seemed to bring hope - light in the darkness.

Professor Tomasz Kawski spoke about how they found letters in different metal containers written by prisoners in the Warsaw ghetto, which had been hidden by the Germans instead of being sent to the addressees. These have given invaluable insights into life within the camp.

Sammuel Oyewusi (Learning from Auschwitz student) gave a talk about how he is discriminated against even in today's world. As just recently when he was on a train come back to Aberdeen he spoke to a fellow passenger and when the other passenger discovered he had gyspy background they were very ruder to him - discrimination continues today but it must be stopped!

There were various speakers as the photos show, including Unite's Tommy Campbell, all very sombre and sobering- looking back and yet encouraging us to stand up for what is right and not letting this ever happen again.

Following the speeches we watched the film Sarah's Key which is a very powerful heartbreaking story about a Jewish family whose son hid and wasn't found. Eventually his sister escaped Auschwitz and made her way back to the house they lived in. She opened the cupboard only to find bones left - a very moving powerful story!

WORDS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE - BOTH FOR GOOD AND EVIL"

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