The borough traditionally commemorates the key annual event tomorrow on January 27 honouring all those affected by genocide, with a poignant memorial service at South Shields Town Hall involving representatives from across the community.
But 2022 will again see the event marked with a virtual commemoration, featuring inspiring speeches from Mayor of South Tyneside Councillor Pat Hay, South Tyneside Council leader Councillor Tracey Dixon, council chief executive Jonathan Tew and Father Mark MaWhinney, of St Michael’s and St Hilda’s churches.
The online tribute will be streamed on the council’s Facebook and Twitter channels on Thursday morning at 11am, with people encouraged to join communities across the UK to pay their own respects by lighting a candle at home at 8pm.
South Shields Town Hall will also be lit up in purple.
The Mayor of South Tyneside said the Holocaust Memorial Day theme for 2022 is ‘One Day’, in the hope that there may be one day in the future with no genocide, that people come together to remember, to learn more about the past, empathise with others and take action for a better future.
“Holocaust Memorial Day is an incredibly important occasion in which we unite in solidarity to remember and pay our respects to the millions of people who were murdered for who they were, during the Holocaust, the Nazi Persecution and in the genocides that followed,” she said.
“As we reflect on this year’s theme, we also think about the survivors of the Holocaust and of genocide who often talk about the One Day when everything changed for them.”
Cllr Hay stressed the importance of the event and the need to remember the horrific events of the past – and to ensure they never happen again.
“The day provides us an opportunity to honour survivors and all those whose lives were changed beyond recognition because of these atrocities, to reflect upon the lessons of their experiences in the past to stand against hatred, racism and victimisation today and in the future,” she said.
“We’re calling on people to join us on this ‘one day’ for a special online tribute and to light a candle or lantern at home in memory of all victims and those affected by such horrendous crimes against humanity all around the world.”
Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on January 27 each year and is the international day of remembrance for victims of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The date also marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau – the largest Nazi death camp.
Members of the public can watch South Tyneside Council’s Holocaust Memorial Day tribute on the Council’s social media channels: Facebook STynesideCouncil and on Twitter @STyne_Council, from 11am.
People are also encouraged to upload photos of their candles on social media, tagging the council and using the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay and #LightTheDarkness.
For further information about Holocaust Memorial Day visit www.hmd.org.uk