Reading Holocaust Memorial Evening

AN EVENING of Remembrance and Reflection to mark Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) will be held at the Civic Offices in Reading.

The two-hour event on Wednesday 22nd January will include contributions from special guests and songs from the Maidenhead Synagogue Choir.

The evening’s Keynote Speaker will be Peter Briess whose family fled Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia just weeks before the outbreak of war and came to Britain when he was seven-years-old.

Many of Mr Briess’ relatives were left behind and died at the hands of the Nazi regime but his immediate family settled in London where he was educated and learned English.

Others taking part in the evening will include Mayor of Reading Cllr Paul Woodward, Chair of Reading HMD James Mugo, Bishop of Reading Rt Rev Olivia Graham, Rev Canon Stephen Pullin, Rabbi Jonathan Romain and Council Leader Cllr Jason Brock.

Guests will also hear a Young People’s Perspective from Holocaust Education Trust Regional Ambassadors Flaminia Luck and Jaya Pathak.

The British Rohingya Community will be staging a photographic exhibition during the evening which highlights the plight of the Rohingya community in the Rakhine State in Burma in 2016. Bangladesh welcomed the sudden influx of several hundred thousand Rohingya refugees fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.

Cllr Brock said:

“Holocaust Memorial Day events provide us with an opportunity to remember the millions of victims of the Nazis and of subsequent genocides around the world.

“It is also a time to ensure that historical reflection is used to guard against all forms of discrimination, hatred and racism in the world today.”

Victor Koroma, General Manager of ACRE, said:

“Looking back at recent history, the current rise in Nationalist sentiments across the world, and the western hemisphere in particular which has been a safe haven for democratic principles, fills one with a sense of foreboding.

“Reading has always been a welcoming place for people of all races and creeds, and I hope that we remain true to our shared human sentiments and stand together against the forces of division.”

Reading’s Holocaust Memorial Evening is organised by Reading Borough Council and the Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality (ACRE) with support from Reading Hebrew Congregation, Maidenhead Synagogue, Reading Refugee Support Group and Berkshire Rwandese Community.

The evening on 22nd January is a free event held in the Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, with registration from 6pm and the programme starting at 6.30pm.

For more information, contact ACRE at or on (0118) 951 0279.


Photo Opportunity: Media are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the Reading Holocaust Memorial Evening at the Civic Offices on 22nd January. A photo-call will take place before the start of the event at 6.20pm.

Visit for more information about Holocaust Memorial Day which nationally falls on 27th January.

David Millward

For media enquiries about this release call 0118 937 4289