Students and staff mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Students and staff from Shrewsbury College hosted a special memorial service to mark the annual international Holocaust Memorial Day.

On Wednesday, 27 January - the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Union in 1945 - the College held a 30-minute service at 12noon for staff and students. The service included poignant readings by students and staff, performances by the Performing Arts choir and an invitation for people to lay a memorial stone, to represent the Jewish tradition of laying a stone instead of flowers on graves.

Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution and in the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Phil Castle, Student Events Ambassador at Shrewsbury College, said: “We have been commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day for many years now and each year we are overwhelmed with the compassionate response and genuine interest our students show.

“The ceremony was very moving and, as always for these events, there was an excellent turn out.

“Students and staff from Construction, Media, Fashion, Performing Arts, Travel & Tourism and The Futures Centre, Contributed in some way to the day’s events. I would like to say a special thank you to our guests, husband and wife, Simon and Bev Bell, and their son Josh, who work for Footsteps – an organization which raised awareness of the Holocaust.”

Andrew Manning, Carpentry teacher at the College, oversaw a group of students who worked on a project to build a Holocaust information display wall out of wood, ahead of the event.

Mr. Manning said: “The students decided on the idea of a curved wall so that other students could post their thoughts on something of quality rather than a pin board or poster paper. The group took the lead with the ideas and design process and I have guided them in the construction. They have had to cope with some challenging maths to work out the curve and how best to construct it. They have also had to work to a tight deadline and work as a team whilst fitting it in around their college work.

“They have produced a very high quality piece of work and they should be extremely proud of what they have achieved and provided for such an important cause.”

Last year over 3,600 local activities took place across the UK to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, with people coming together in civic halls, public spaces, libraries, cinemas, workplaces, schools and universities.

Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK is supported by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: “On Holocaust Memorial Day we honour the survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and challenge ourselves to learn important lessons from their experiences in order to create a safer, better future. This year we have an unprecedented number of activities taking place involving people of all ages and from all walks of life, challenging us all to ensure that we don’t stand by to discrimination and hatred.”

For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day and the events that took place visit or follow the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust on Twitter via @HMD_UK and the hashtag #HMD2016.

For more information about upcoming events and courses at Shrewsbury College, please follow the College on Facebook: ShrewsburyCollege, Twitter: @ShrewsburyCol and Instagram: shrewsbury_college

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