Holocaust Memorial Day on the 27th January provides an opportunity to not only remember those who suffered during the Holocaust under the Nazi regime, but also those others who bore similar fates under different establishments.
This year Staffordshire University chose to ‘Remember Srebrenica’ and we gathered at the Leek Road site of the university to remember all those who died in the Bosnian conflict. The Reverend Mike Williams provided an introduction to the event, before Ian Blachford, Chief Operating Officer, read the welcome.
‘Remembering Srebrenica’ was led by PC Simon Stone. Members of the Staffordshire University community visited Srebrenica with a delegation from YMCA North Staffordshire in 2019. PC Simon Stone, the university’s on-campus officer, was part of this delegation and spoke about the experiences of visiting the site where the genocide occurred during the Bosnian War in 1995. Listening to Simon’s personal experience was extremely moving and brought the horrors of genocide a lot closer to home.
The Reverend Mike Williams reflected on the Holocaust Memorial Day theme of ‘Stand Together’, which was commemorated at services and events across the world.
The Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Hebrew Congregation then said The Kaddish – the Prayer for the departed.
It was inevitably an upsetting and moving event, where we remembered not only those who were lost during the Holocaust but also those who have suffered in more modern conflicts. It provided us with an opportunity to reflect but also to look to the future with hope.