The annual Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration organised by the Chelmsford Jewish Community and supported by Chelmsford City Council, was held at the Civic Centre, Chelmsford on January 28, to remember the victims of the Holocaust during World War Two and other genocides.

Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day of remembrance for the millions of victims killed in the Holocaust and other genocides and is marked each year on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

‘Torn from home’ was this year’s theme which featured throughout the readings and presentations. The theme encourages people to reflect on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ is part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide.

The commemoration featured principal speaker, Ernest Simon, who in January 1939, came to Leeds, England on the Kindertransport from Vienna. His poignant speech provided an opportunity to learn and reflect on the many memories of Holocaust survivors.

The evening was attended by 160 people including members of the Chelmsford Jewish community, the Mayor of Chelmsford, the Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, Chief Executive of Chelmsford City Council, Chairman of Essex County Council, and pupils from King Edward VI Grammar School, The Boswells School, New Hall School, Great Baddow High School, and St John Payne Roman Catholic School.

The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Yvonne Spence said: “I was honoured to attend Chelmsford’s Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration. We must always remember those innocent victims who experienced such unimaginable horrors and make sure that such atrocities never happen again.

“Chelmsford City Council and the Chelmsford Jewish Community want to ensure that the memory of both those who survived and those who lost their lives, is kept alive for future generations.”