Saturday, February 04, 2017

The lessons of history

the standard bearers leading the procession
by New Worker correspondent
New Communist Party leader Andy Brooks joined comrades, war veterans, diplomats and anti-fascists at the annual Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in London last week. On 27th January 1945 the Red Army liberated Auschwitz, the largest death camp in the Third Reich, and every year on that day the millions of victims of the Nazi Holocaust are remembered at the Imperial War Museum and the nearby Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park.
            The solemn events began with a ceremony in the museum cinema that recalled the Nazi extermination of Jews, Soviet prisoners-of-war, gays, Roma and the mentally ill during the Second World War. 
Andy Brooks lays the NCP floral tribute
Opened by the Mayor of Southwark, Kath Whittam, the programme included musical and literary tributes to the victims, and speakers including Helen Hayes, the Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, as well as an interview with Holocaust survivor Helen Aronson.
            Rabbi Dr Moshe Freedman led the Memorial Prayer and Kaddish, and four memorial candles were lit whilst the standard-bearers, mainly veterans from the Second World War, led the procession into the grounds for the wreath-laying ceremony at the Holocaust Memorial Tree and the Soviet War Memorial.
            Philip Matthews, the Chair of the Soviet Memorial Trust Fund, opened the Act of Remembrance, which was followed by the laying of wreaths and floral tributes by the company that included military veteran organisations, representatives of the embassies of the Russian Federation and Belarus, the NCP, the Communist Party of Britain and the Marx Memorial Library along, with members of London’s Jewish and Russian communities.
            It closed, as always, with a two-minute silence and the Last Post.

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