Faith Leaders from the Bradford Council for Mosques and Bradford Hindu Council will attend Bradford Council’s virtual Holocaust Memorial Day event on Thursday.
Holocaust Memorial Day is an annual commemoration day dedicated to the remembrance of the Jews and others who suffered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution.
The first HMD was held in January 2001 and has been on the same date every year since.
The chosen date, 27 January, is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Union in 1945.
Since 2005, HMD has been supported by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, a charity set up and funded by the UK Government.
This year’s event in Bradford has been organised in partnership with trustees from the Bradford Reform synagogue.
Imran Khan, the Deputy Leader of Bradford Council, and the newly-elected president of Bradford’s Council for Mosques (CfM) will be in attendance representing CfM, as well members from Bradford’s Hindu Council.
A tribute to Jewish community leader Dr Rudi Leavor by Suzi Cree and a tribute to Lilian Black by Nigel Grizzard will be made.
Dr Rudi Leavor, fled Berlin at the age of 11 in 1937 after his father became increasingly worried about his family’s safety under Hitler’s regime.
Dr Leaver went on to become a dentist in Bradford, becoming president and chairman of the Bradford Reform Synagogue. He was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his work with the local Jewish community and promoting interfaith relations in the district in 2017. Dr Leaver passed away in July of last year at the age of 95.
Lillian Black was the chair of the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association. She helped set up the Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre (HELC), the first Holocaust centre of its kind in the north of England, based at the University of Huddersfield, in 2018.
She is the daughter of Holocaust survivor Eugene Black and was regarded as one of the leading global Holocaust educators. Ms Black passed away in October 2020 at the age of 69 from Covid-19.
A video message from all the five West Yorkshire local authorities will be shown and other speakers include Diane Fairfax, Bishop of Bradford Toby Howarth, Sheikh Samy and Rabbi Anthony Gilbert.
The theme this year is ‘One Day’. One of the meanings of ‘One Day’ is that we put aside time to come together to remember, to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Myanmar, Bosnia and Darfur, in the hope that there may be One Day in the future with no genocide.
Bradford Council Leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe said: “Holocaust Memorial Day offers local people from different backgrounds and communities the opportunity to reflect and remember the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and other genocides.
“By understanding these tragic episodes in history and speaking out against prejudice and hate, we can reduce the chances of these terrible crimes ever happening again.
“It will also be really important to pay tribute to Rudi, who was a brilliant man, a strong advocate for Bradford and a faith leader who the whole district looked up to. Also, we remember Lilian who was born in Leeds and grew up in Bradford and became a leading global Holocaust educator in honour of her father Eugene, who survived the Holocaust.”