Monday, 25 January 2010

Holocaust Memorial Day

On Sunday Tracy and I attended a Holocaust Memorial Day Service at St Andrew's Church. This is celebrated internationally on 27 January, being the date on which the largest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated. We heard a very moving account from Susi Bechhofer, a resident of Rugby for many years who told us about how she found out that she was a survivor of the Holocaust. At the age of three with her twin sister, Susi was transported to Britain under a scheme known as Kindertransport when 10,000 Jewish children were sent to relative safety around the world in 1938 and 1939 as people started to become aware of Nazi intentions. Susi only learnt about her background later in life when she sat an exam and her birth name was revealed. This prompted her to find out about her past and unsurprisingly many of her relatives were killed in the concentration camps. In his remarks, Rev Mark Beach referred to more recent genocides, including Rwanda and my mind was taken back to my visits there over the past two summers. The capital of Rwanda, Kigali has its own Memorial centre, where I look this photo of those who were killed during the attrocities of 1994.