Leeds will commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day with a powerful event at the City Varieties Music Hall, featuring survivor Dr. Martin Stern MBE, performances by LAIT, and a communal act of remembrance, inviting the public to reflect on and educate against genocides. The event, themed ‘Fragility of Freedom,’ will honor the millions of victims of the Holocaust and genocides worldwide, and will include speeches, performances, and a symbolic lighting of candles by representatives of persecuted communities.
How is Leeds commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day?
Leeds will honor Holocaust Memorial Day with a poignant event on 28 January at the City Varieties Music Hall, featuring a keynote by survivor Dr. Martin Stern MBE, performances by LAIT, and a communal act of remembrance. Public attendance is encouraged to reflect on and educate against genocides.
Leeds is set to mark Holocaust Memorial Day with an event that aims to honor the memory of those who suffered under Nazi persecution and in genocides worldwide. Scheduled for 2pm on Sunday 28 January at City Varieties Music Hall, the event will be presided over by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Al Garthwaite. In what promises to be a poignant tribute, the guest of honour will be Holocaust survivor Dr Martin Stern MBE, who will share his harrowing life story and his message of resilience.
The event, themed ‘Fragility of Freedom’, is part of an international day of remembrance. It seeks to pay homage to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions more who perished in genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. Organizers have extended an invitation to all communities within Leeds to join in this act of remembrance and education.
Featured Speakers and Performances
Dr Martin Stern, the guest of honour, is set to deliver the keynote speech at the event. His speech will recount his and his sister Erika’s survival through sheer fortitude and the benevolence of strangers. They endured the atrocities of both the Westerbork Concentration Camp in Holland and Theresienstadt Ghetto in the Czech Republic.
The ceremony will also include a unique performance by Leeds Heritage Theatre’s Leeds Actors in Training (LAIT). The group will present a piece based on Gregory Stanton’s Ten Stages of Genocide. Through spoken word and movement, the performance will follow a character named ‘Jean’ as they navigate the perilous stages of genocide, providing a contemporary lens on this historical framework.
To conclude the event, a memorial prayer will be sung by Cantor Rachel Weston, followed by a reading of seven statements of commitment. In a symbolic act of remembrance and solidarity, candles will be lit by representatives of communities that have faced persecution, including Holocaust survivors, disabled individuals, the LGBT+ community, and those remembering Srebrenica.
Official Statements and Event Access
The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Al Garthwaite, expressed profound respect for the occasion, stating, “It gives me the greatest pleasure to host Holocaust Memorial Day and welcome Dr Stern to Leeds.” After a recent visit to the Terezin Ghetto, Councillor Garthwaite emphasized the enduring importance of learning from such grim chapters of history to ensure a more inclusive future.
Adding to the Lord Mayor’s comments, Councillor James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council, highlighted the city’s dedication to fostering peace. He remarked, “Holocaust Memorial Day plays an important role in not only remembering the victims of genocide but in teaching the lessons of where hate, racism, and xenophobia of all kinds can lead.”
The Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration is a free event open to the public, though seating is limited. Attendees can reserve their seats by contacting the Box Office at 0113 243 0808 or by visiting Leeds Heritage Theatres. The collective aim of the event is to bring together the diverse communities of Leeds in a solemn act of remembrance to reaffirm a commitment against such atrocities ever occurring again.
- Leeds will commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day with an event at the City Varieties Music Hall, featuring survivor Dr. Martin Stern MBE, performances by LAIT, and a communal act of remembrance.
- The event, themed ‘Fragility of Freedom,’ aims to honor the millions of victims of the Holocaust and genocides worldwide.
- Dr. Martin Stern MBE, a Holocaust survivor, will deliver the keynote speech, sharing his harrowing life story and message of resilience.
- Leeds Actors in Training (LAIT) will present a unique performance based on the Ten Stages of Genocide, providing a contemporary lens on this historical framework.
- The event is open to the public, but seating is limited, and attendees can reserve their seats through Leeds Heritage Theatres.