Good Morning Everyone, today Wednesday 27th January is Holocaust Memorial Day. Next week’s assemblies will pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in the Holocaust and in war both in the past and present.
The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 is ‘be the light in the darkness’. This theme asks people to consider the different types of darkness that have permeated history,and continue to threaten society today. You are encouraged to consider how individuals and communities can provide light, through acts of resistance, solidarity, and rescue, and by illuminating false truths. On the 27th January, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust will live stream a memorial ceremony at 7pm. Use the link to take part in the event and remember those who were murdered.
Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony sign up
In his poem Shema, Primo Levi similarly instructs his reader to act to end suffering and deprivation. Written after his time interned in the Auschwitz concentration camp, Levi’s poem uses the frame of the Shema Yisrael, a Jewish prayer that serves as a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services. In doing this, Levi encourages readers to listen, obey and act. He suggests that, like the Shema prayer, these images of human suffering should be engraved on our hearts and follow us through our day and guide our actions.
You who live secure
In your warm houses
Who return at evening to find
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider whether this is a man,
Who labours in the mud
Who knows no peace
Who fights for a crust of bread
Who dies at a yes or a no.
Consider whether this is a woman,
Without hair or name
With no more strength to remember
Eyes empty and womb cold
As a frog in winter.
Consider that this has been:
I commend these words to you.
Engrave them on your hearts
When you are in your house, when you walk on your way,
When you go to bed, when you rise.
Repeat them to your children.
Or may your house crumble,
Disease render you powerless,
Your offspring avert their faces from you.