Rabbi Yossi Posen joined with Epping Forest District Council Chairman Darshan Sunger to show the District’s support for the Jewish community of Epping Forest ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January.
The Fragility of Freedom
The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘The Fragility of Freedom’.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is a charity funded by the UK Government. It promotes and supports the international day on 27 January to remember the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of people murdered under Nazi persecution of other groups and during more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. While the events of World War 2 may seem long ago, and more recent genocides took place far away, the Trust warns against complacency. Prejudice and the language of hatred must be challenged by us all.
Chairman of Council, Cllr Darshan Sunger spoke of the particular importance of this year’s theme, the fragility of freedom. As residents look forward to a year of elections. He said:
With local and national elections coming this year, it seems more appropriate than ever to remember the fragility of the freedom we all enjoy in the UK today. That freedom comes from a tolerant and open society, where we all abide by common laws, respect the views of others, and enjoy equal rights. Genocide begins with small steps. In 1930s Germany, this began with laws to restrict the freedom of Jews to work, marry and worship. Democracy gave way to dictatorship. More laws followed to control travel and where people could live. Media censorship and propaganda fed a diet of half-truths and lies to the wider population, justifying each step until the point at which the unthinkable could become normalised.
Wherever it takes place, none of these events spring forward fully-formed. Each is preceded by intolerance, the denial of truth and the loss of freedom. Today it is as important as ever to remember and relearn the lessons of history. The protection of our fragile freedoms must never be taken for granted.
As current events unfold in the Middle-East, Europe and across the World, the trauma of the Holocaust has reawakened in so many hearts, especially in our Jewish community. I want to reassure you. Epping Forest is a safe and tolerant society. We are a community of every faith including Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Jews. On this coming Holocaust Memorial Day we stand united, reaching out to all residents, and our Jewish friends and neighbours in particular, with reassurance of the lasting friendship that brings us together.
In common with other public buildings across the UK, the offices of Epping Forest District Council will be lit in purple for Holocaust Memorial Day on Saturday.
To find out more about Holocaust Memorial Day visit
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