Cllr Mark Alcock attended this years memorial service, he said, ‘after visiting Berger Belson some years ago and seeing the horrors committed by the Nazi’s I believe that it is important that we never forget the Holocaust and these services are a good way to remind people and remember the millions of people murdered and the survivors who suffer on a daily basis from the horrors they endured’.
John Dillon: Introduction:
I would like to welcome you all here this morning to Shaw and Crompton’s 8th Holocaust Memorial Day. It is intended that this will be a short memorial and ceremonial stones will be laid as a gesture at the end of the proceedings.
Once again we are gathered here to commemorate Holocaust Day to remind ourselves of the horrors mankind commits to his fellow man not just in the past but still happening today, such as the events in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The theme for this year is Speak Up Speak Out
Richard Dimbleby Describes Belsen
‘I have just returned from the Belsen Concentration Camp, where for two hours I drove slowly about the place in a jeep with the chief doctor of second army. I had waited a day before going to the camp so that I could be absolutely sure of the facts now available. I find it hard to describe adequately the horrible things that I have seen and heard, but here, unadorned are the facts. There are 40,000 men, women and children in the camp: German and half a dozen other nationalities, thousands of them Jews. Of this total of 40,000 – 4,250 are acutely ill or dying of virulent disease. Typhus, typhoid, diphtheria, dysentery, pneumonia and child-birth fever are rife. 25,600, three quarters of them women, are either ill from lack of food, or are actually dying of starvation. In the last few months alone, 30,000 prisoners have been killed off or allowed to die. Those are the simple, horrible facts of Belsen. But horrible as they are they can convey little or nothing in themselves. I wish with all my heart that everyone fighting in this war and above all those whose duty it is to direct the war from Britain and America could have come with me through the barbed wire fence that leads to the inner compound of the camp.
Royton and Crompton Pupils
Rev. Harry Edwards
Luke 4. 14 – 21
The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry
Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to
and recovery of sight to the blind
to let the oppressed go free.
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the
synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been
fulfilled in your hearing.’
John Hall Chairman Shaw and Crompton Parish Council
First they came for the Jews: by Pastor Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.
John Dillon Never Shall I Forget – Elie Wiesel
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith for ever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live
as long as God Himself..
Statement of commitment: (ALL)
1. We recognise that the Holocaust shook the foundations of modern civilisation. Its unprecedented character and horror will always hold universal meaning.
2. We believe the Holocaust must have a permanent place in our nation’s collective memory. We honour the survivors still with us, and reaffirm our shared goals of mutual understanding and justice.
3. We must make sure that future generations understand the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its consequences. We vow to remember the victims of Nazi persecution and of all genocide.
4. We value the sacrifices of those who have risked their lives to protect or rescue victims, as a touchstone of the human capacity for good in the face of evil.
5. We recognise that humanity is still scarred by the belief that race, religion, disability or sexuality makes some people’s lives worth less than others’. Genocide, anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and discrimination still continue. We have a shared responsibility to fight these evils.
6. We pledge to strengthen our efforts to promote education and research about the Holocaust and other genocide. We will do our utmost to make sure that the lessons of such events are fully learnt.
7. We will continue to encourage Holocaust remembrance by holding an annual Shaw and Crompton Holocaust Memorial Day. We condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism. We value a free, tolerant, and democratic society.
There Is a Last Solitary Coach – David Vogel
There is a last, solitary coach about to leave.
Let us get in and go,
For it won’t wait.
I have seen young girls going softly
With sad faces
That looked ashamed and sorry
Like purple sunsets,
And chubby, pink children
Who went simply
Because they were called.
And I’ve seen men
Who stepped proud and straight through the world’s streets,
Whose large eyes went ranging
Far and wide,
They too got in calmly
And we are the last.
Day is declining.
The last, solitary coach is about to leave.
Let us too get in quietly
For it won’t wait.
All: HOPE FOR THE FUTURE:
Everyone has a right to be free,
Where there is no freedom for others,
There is no freedom for me.
Everyone has a right to be different,
Where there is no respect for difference,
There can be no respect for me.
There is HOPE for a safer future if I protect liberty,
If I RESPECT others,
Others will RESPECT me.
All: Rev Harry Edwards to lead: The Lords Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever.
An alternative to lighting candles is the placing of stones in a focal place, such as before the altar. Stones, rather than flowers, are traditionally placed on Jewish graves as a sign of remembrance; in parts of the world where stones are more readily found than flowers this is practical. The practice also echoes the accounts in Genesis of marking the grave of the patriarchs. Symbolically, a stone prayerfully placed provides the antithesis to a stone thrown in anger.
All: We place these stones in memory of all people, each known to you by name, who perished as a result of human action. We lay them down as a sign of our determination to counter anger and hatred wherever we may find them, and of our commitment to live for the establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth.