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As the County prepares to join with people around the UK and the world to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day this Friday the new Bishop of Blackburn-designate, Rt Rev Philip North, has issued a reflective statement.

Holocaust Memorial Day, and the associated HMD Trust, encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide. 

It promotes and supports Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) the international day on January 27 each year set aside to remember the six million Jews murdered during The Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi rule.

The date chosen marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp in 1945. The HMD Trust also remembers those lost in more recent genocides, such as Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia.

Events to mark HMD are taking place across the County and include exhibitions at the Anglican Cathedral in Blackburn, running until February 3.

The high schools' team from the Diocesan Board of Education has co-organised the Cathedral exhibitions, working in partnership with organisations including Blackburn with Darwen Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE); the North East Religious Resources Centre; the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Cathedral itself. 

Children and young people from across the Diocese will get the chance to visit the exhibitions this week and next. 

Speaking today, Bishop Philip commented: "The Holocaust, also known as The Shoah in Hebrew, was a pivotal moment in history. 

"It was the first time the killing of human beings was industrialised and to a scale where, eventually, two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe at the time - men, women and children - were murdered by the Nazis. Other groups that didn't fit the 'Nazi ideal' were also victims alongside the Jews. 

"As the numbers of survivors able to recall those terrible events rapidly dwindles, we who remain have a duty to continue to keep the memory of The Holocaust alive; and of other genocides since.

"Holocaust Memorial Day is an important way we can do this; as we collectively take the opportunity to commit ourselves to stand together against antisemitism and all other kinds of prejudice and injustice." 



Ronnie Semley
26 January 2023