Evening of Reflection to Mark Holocaust Memorial Day

AN EVENING of reflection to remember the victims of the Holocaust will be held at the Civic Offices on Wednesday 23rd January.

The event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day will feature speakers, poetry, choral performances and an address from keynote speaker Dame Stephanie Shirley CH.


Dame Shirley, a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour, will be talking about her experiences since coming to Britain as an unaccompanied child refugee in 1939. She arrived in the UK from Germany on KinderTransport aged five and went on to become a successful businesswoman and now philanthropist.

The evening will also feature local ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust Chloe Smith, who will give a young person’s perspective with ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’; the poetry of Nazi Germany refugee Beata Duncan read by her family and songs from Maidenhead Synagogue Choir.

Councillor Jo Lovelock, Leader of Reading Borough Council, said:

“Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity to remember the millions of victims of the Holocaust under Nazi persecution and of the genocides around the world which have followed.

“It is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past, be vigilant for any acts of discrimination, racism and hatred today and ensure everyone works together to create a safer, better future.”

Victor Koroma, General Manager at the Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality (ACRE) said:

“Economic pressures, political forces and misinformation can cause serious strains on relationships within society as happened in Nazi Germany. With Brexit still being a divisive issue in the UK, we must all be vigilant in recognising discord and addressing the causes as a community with the benefit of creating a peaceful and harmonious society for all.”

Holocaust Memorial Day is an annual event which actually falls on 27th January to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Reading Holocaust Memorial Evening on 23rd January is organised by Reading Borough Council and ACRE and supported by Reading Hebrew Congregation, Maidenhead Synagogue, Reading Refugee Support Group and Berkshire Rwandese Community.

Entry to the event in the Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, is free. The programme starts at 6.30pm with registration from 6pm.

For more information, call Victor Koroma at ACRE on (0118) 951 0279 or email info@acre-reading.org.

Notes to Editors

Photo Opportunity: Media are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the Reading Holocaust Memorial Evening at the Civic Offices. A photocall will take place before the start of the event at 6.20pm.

More information about Holocaust Memorial Day can be found at: https://www.hmd.org.uk/

For more information about Dame Stephanie Shirley visit: http://www.steveshirley.com/

David Millward

For media enquiries about this release call 0118 937 4289