Holocaust Memorial Day 2024

Reading’s evening of reflection marking Holocaust Memorial Day 2024

  • Annual Civic event to commemorate victims of the Holocaust will be held on 24 January 2024
  • The free event will feature speakers, choral performances, and a candle lighting ceremony

AN EVENING of remembrance and reflection to commemorate victims of the Holocaust will be held on Wednesday 24 January 2024.

Reading’s annual, free Civic commemoration will follow the global Holocaust Memorial Day theme for 2024, ‘Fragility of Freedom’, reflecting on how freedom is fragile and vulnerable to abuse. The theme will inspire open discussions about how we as a community can strengthen the freedoms of those around the world and remind us to never take our own freedoms for granted.

The free event, hosted in the Council Chamber from 6:30pm, will feature various live elements including speakers, prayers, and choral performances by the Maidenhead Synagogue Choir.

Keynote speakers, Simon Grinberg and Helen Compton, will share the story of their mother’s survival, as a child in a Nazi concentration camp. Brendan Cox, co-founder of the /together coalition will reflect on the importance of bringing people together and bridging divides, to help build a kinder, closer, and more connected society.

Candles for peace will be lit by The Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Mr Andrew Try, The Bishop of Reading, The Rt Revd Olivia Graham, and keynote speakers.

Members of the public are welcome to attend, and the evening's proceedings will be streamed live on the Council’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/@ReadingCouncilNews.

Councillor Jason Brock, Leader of Reading Borough Council, said:

“On Holocaust Memorial Day, Reading’s communities come together to remember those who have tragically died, and those who are still sadly losing their lives, through war and conflict.

“I hope as many people as possible will join us in the Council Chamber for this important evening of reflection. This is an opportunity for us all to take a moment to reflect on the lessons of the past, and to consider how we can learn from them to create a better future.

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

“Reading has a proud record of being a welcoming town by creating space for all communities to thrive, regardless of race, colour, or creed. It has been aided by diverse communities making positive contributions towards creating a cohesive society.

“This has not been without unique challenges but has always stood firm to uphold 'One Reading' status, so let us not forget that as we remember the victims of the Holocaust and Genocides through time."

Notes to editors

Reading Holocaust Memorial Evening on 24 January is organised by Reading Borough Council and ACRE. The event is supported by Reading Hebrew Congregation, Maidenhead Synagogue, Reading Refugee Support Group, and Berkshire Rwandese Community.