Yesterday we were privileged to be joined by refugees and survivors of the Holocaust and the subsequent genocides at a reception for MPs at the House of Commons, hosted by Mike Freer MP and Alison McGovern MP. Ann Kirk, who was evacuated from Germany as a child on the Kindertransport, and Kemal Pervanic, a survivor of the Bosnian War, both spoke about how the theme for HMD 2014 Journeys is relevant to their stories of escaping genocide.
The HMDT team was also joined by local HMD activity organisers along with our regional, national and Youth Champions, who were all part of organising creative and powerful HMD activities across the country for HMD 2013 in interfaith, arts, civic and educational organisations.
Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Trust, who launched the theme in her speech said,
For HMD 2014, we will learn of the multitude of journeys that people were forced to undertake, in fear of what would be found at the end of the journey. We will do so at events that bring us together with our neighbours, that strengthen bonds of tolerance and respect, and that enable us to pledge to play our part in creating a safer, better future.
Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, also spoke at the reception. He said,
I think HMDT is a fantastic organisation. It demonstrates how we need constant vigilance to ensure genocide doesn’t happen again.
He also restated the Government’s commitment to supporting Holocaust Memorial Day, after having confirmed that the Department for Communities & Local Government will continue to fund the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
You can read Kemal Pervanic's speech from the reception.
You can read Ann Kirk's speech from the reception.