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Holocaust memorial staged to honour victims of genocide

This year's theme was 'ordinary people' who can 'work together to ensure that discrimination, racism and hatred are called-out wherever they occur'

Barnet Council Holocaust Memorial Event

Students, members of the public and community organisations gathered at Middlesex University on Sunday to honour the people killed during the Holocaust and other genocides.

More than 200 people attended Barnet Council’s Holocaust Memorial Day event in the Quad at Hendon campus.

It is held each year to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution of other groups and in more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Professor Nic Beech, Vice Chancellor of Middlesex University, said: “It is a privilege for the University to host the community on our campus to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Our community principles guide how we work, learn and behave.

This year’s theme was ‘Ordinary People’ and described as: “the ordinary people who let genocide happen, the ordinary people who actively perpetrated genocide, and the ordinary people who were persecuted, and prompts us all to consider how, as ordinary people, we can play a bigger part in challenging prejudice today. Thus, as ordinary people we can work together to ensure that discrimination, racism and hatred are called-out wherever they occur.”

"Respecting, learning from, and supporting each other and behaving responsibly towards people, cultures and the environment, is one of these principles.

"Another is leading in equality, diversity and inclusion and a commitment to equity. These principles underpin all we do as a University."

-     Speakers included Mala Tribich MBE, a Holocaust Survivor, Councillor Alison Moore, The Mayor of Barnet, Olivia Marks-Woldman OBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

The Mayor of Barnet said: “I am very grateful to Middlesex University for once again hosting this year’s commemoration and enabling us to come together to remember and honour their memory.

“One of the lessons from the past is that genocides do not happen overnight and are often the result of a climate where discrimination, racism and hatred are normalised.

“Thus, as ordinary people we can work together to ensure that discrimination, racism and hatred are called-out wherever they occur. And that through education and sharing of each other’s cultures, faiths, traditions and life-stories, we can promote a better understanding of each other and fight intolerance.

“All of us – ordinary people - have a responsibility to challenge and oppose the prejudice, racism and discrimination that can lead to the persecution of individuals and peoples here and across the world.”

Holocaust Memorial Event

Esmond Rosen, President of the Barnet Multi Faith Forum, said: “By commemorating this important event today, we are coming together to establish these essential environments of trust and building bridges of understanding and knowledge in the hope that this may lead to righteous and peaceful solutions to previously insolvable dilemmas and bring peace to the world.”

Asma Ali, of the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association, said: “We still see the rise of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism recognised and we must view this as a call for action to remind each other to stand up and speak out against prejudice and injustice wherever we witness it.”

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