By a New Worker correspondent
VETERANS of the Second World War, ambassadors of the former Soviet republics, local dignitaries, communists and members of many progressive groups gathered last Wednesday, 27th January, in bitter cold in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park by the Imperial War Museum to remember the Nazi Holocaust and its victims.
The people gathered first around Southwark Council’s Holocaust Memorial Tree for a service led by local Rabbi, the Reverend Alan Greenbatt. He spoke of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army on 27th January 1945 and the horrors that were found there. He said the purpose of remembering was to ensure that such things can never happen again.
This was followed by the singing of the 23rd Psalm and then the crowd moved to the memorial to the Soviet war dead.
Philip Matthews of the Soviet Memorial Trust Fund was the first to make a short speech. He was followed by the local Mayor, Councillor Jeffrey Hook, local Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes and a representative of the Soviet ambassador.
This was followed by the laying of wreaths by the embassies of the former Soviet republic, the various veterans’ associations, including the Arctic Convoy Club, and other organisations.
These included the New Communist Party, the Communist Party of Britain, the International Brigade Association and the Marx Memorial Library.
This was followed by the Last Post, the exhortation, two minutes silence and then closing remarks.