Staff and learners at the Grimsby Institute were joined by students from The Academy Grimsby, members of the local community and the Mayor of the Borough of North East Lincolnshire, Councillor Alex Baxter, in a commemorative ceremony in honour of Holocaust Memorial Day 2015.
Holocaust Memorial Day is held on 27th January every year, and this year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, one of the concentration camps throughout Europe where mass-genocide took place during World War II.
The event was hosted by Aretha Kay, Grimsby Institute’s Equality & Diversity Coordinator. Aretha said: “We need to be strong and safe as a community and learn from and listen to each other. We also need to be aware when particular groups are feeling under represented or vulnerable to prevent hate crime happening and thereby prevent further atrocities from happening around the world.
“All the extremism that’s happening around the world, on behalf of or in the name of others, needs to be closely monitored and we need to be ready as a community to be able to respond to that.
“The event has supplemented everything the learners have been learning in class and they’ve been moved by what they’ve been listening to and watching. It’s had an immediate impact on them.”
Guests included Marcus Czarnecki, who spoke about his Polish Father’s experiences, Leo Solomon MBE, President of the Sir Moses Montefiore Synagogue, and Stephen Mirfin, Hate Crime Coordinator for Humberside Police.
Demi Meek, 14, one of the students from The Academy Grimsby, explained what she had learnt throughout the morning: “There were some guest speakers who told us how it actually was and gave us an insight into the truth about it and how really horrible it was them. It was hard to see how difficult it was for them to talk about it.
“We’ve learnt how truly devastating the Holocaust was and how lucky we are. It’s important to keep the memory going so that it doesn’t happen again. We also should remember those who aren’t as fortunate as us and lost their lives.”