Ealing’s mayor, Councillor Tej Ram Bagha, and leader of the council, Councillor Julian Bell, led the ceremony with the support of Rabbi Janet Burden from Ealing Liberal Synagogue on Tuesday, 27 January.
A minute’s silence was observed and a tree was planted outside the council’s Perceval House offices, Uxbridge Road, in memory of all those around the world who have lost their lives as a result of acts of genocide, persecution and torture. These include victims of the Nazi Holocaust as well as those in Armenia, Assyria, Cambodia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Darfur.
Councillor Bell reminded people that it was 70 years ago to the day since Soviet soldiers finally liberated Auschwitz concentration camp in south-west Poland. He also urged everyone to take a stand against discrimination and stressed how important it is that we keep alive the memory of the Holocaust and other atrocities by exploring and sharing the powerful stories of survivors.
He said: “It is vital, and particularly relevant for those residents who have come to our borough to escape persecution, that we reflect on these memories while survivors are still with us.
“I also hope we will pass the lessons of the past on to our children, so that they too will challenge persecution and continue to commemorate this day for years to come.”