HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY 2016

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day.  This morning I attended the annual Civic Service at St Peter de Mancroft Church in Norwich.  The ancient church was full, with Joe Stirling as a special guest in the front pew.  The service, organised by the Council of Christians and Jews, took the traditional format and included the thought-provoking poem allegedly written by Pastor Martin Niemoller after WW2.

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.

Last year Joe Stirling was chosen to light a candle to commemorate 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.  Here is a photo recording that day.  This year instead, we had a display of Escaping Hitler at the back of the church and following the moving service we sold twelve copies and raised a lot of interest.  The book is dedicated to Alfred and Ida Stern, Joe’s parents, who were murdered in Sobibor Death Camp in 1942. Today in Church Joe and I honoured them.

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