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Chelmsford commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day

Hundreds of Chelmsford residents paid their respects for Holocaust Memorial Day by attending an online commemorative event yesterday evening.

The Chelmsford Jewish Community, with support from Chelmsford City Council, held an online service to mark Yom HaShoah – the Day of Holocaust. The video, live streamed on the City Council’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, included speeches from Stan Keller, Chairman of the Jewish Community and the Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Jude Deakin.

There were interviews with survivors of the Holocaust, as well as other genocides throughout history.

The Mayor described the event as an “opportunity for us to remember the lives and communities destroyed by the Nazis and their collaborators in the Holocaust, together with the victims of subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur, Syria, Myanmar and elsewhere.”

In his closing remarks, Mr Keller commented on residents in Chelmsford being “fortunate to live in a tolerant community” but reminded others that “we have seen how quickly things can change.”

"This International Holocaust Remembrance Day and Yom Hashoah must be about more than remembrance: It must be more than a tick box exercise to make us all feel better. It must be about action before it is too late."

Stan Keller, Chairman of the Jewish Community

The “tender and moving commemoration” was well-received by members of the public. One viewer described it as “A powerful reminder of how hatred and persecution can escalate and the importance of retaining ongoing awareness of prejudice and discrimination, and taking our own responsibility to act.”

The live stream has been saved and is available to watch:

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Julie Weight
Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at julie.weight@chelmsford.gov.uk or on 01245 606984.