Victims of the Holocaust during the Second World War and in recent genocides around the world were remembered at Monmouth Library on Saturday, 27th of January. Hosted by Love Your Library Monmouth, members of the public joined Monmouthshire County Council to commemorate the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust and all victims of more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. 


Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on the 27th of January every year, marking the day that the largest death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated. 


Introducing the theme of the day, 'Fragility of Freedom', Chair of Monmouth Library, Councillor Catherine Fookes, welcomed guest speakers, readers, and visitors before lighting candles to 'light the darkness'. 


Councillor Catherine Fookes said, "It was an honour to welcome people to the Holocaust Memorial Day event in Monmouth, hear stories, and light a candle in honour of those who died. The Holocaust, when over six million Jews were murdered, and subsequent genocides around the world have seen the most significant loss of life in our history. We must not forget the victims of these atrocious acts, and we must all actively challenge prejudice, stand up to hatred and speak out against persecution. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who contributed towards the day."


The event included themed crafts, kosher refreshments, and readings from Councillor Angela Sandles, Leader of Monmouthshire County Council, Councillor Mary Ann Brockelsby and David TC Davies MP.


Leader of Monmouthshire County Council, Cllr Mary Ann Brocklesby said, "At Monmouth Library, joining hundreds around Wales, we remembered those murdered in the Holocaust, the six million Jews, the Roma people and the disabled, as well as the victims of more recent genocides. We must learn the lessons and stand up against hatred, racism and antisemitism wherever we see it."


Subject Leader for Religion, Values and Ethics at Monmouth Comprehensive, Ms Sharon Perry Phillips spoke about the capacity of students to understand events such as the Holocaust and other acts of genocide and the importance of young people's engagement with this learning, leading to a clear view that it must never happen again. 

She said, "I was honoured to speak at the recent Holocaust Memorial Day event about how we teach pupils about the Holocaust. I'm always blown away by the capacity children have to understand. We must continue to engage children in the horrors of the Holocaust to ensure that it never happens again." 


In addition, Ethicist and Mental Health Specialist, Jess George, shared her reflections on the importance of remembrance, Reverend Catherine Haynes provided a poignant reflection on remembrance and compassion, and Chairman of Cardiff United Synagogue, Rabbi Michoel Rose spoke in a video messageof the rise in antisemitism in Britain today, and said that "hatred, and words of hatred towards others, is not acceptable, and is certainly not acceptable in Modern Britain."