Sir Robin Wales wants everyone to remember Holocaust Memorial Day this January

PUBLISHED: 10:28 04 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:28 04 January 2017

Sir Robin Wales

Sir Robin Wales

Newham Cll PR

On behalf of everyone at Newham Council I would like to wish everyone a happy new year.

So how many of you have stuck to the resolutions made at midnight on New Year’s Eve? The one resolution I hope we can all stick to is a shared responsibility for making our borough a better and stronger place.

We can do that by supporting Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27 and showing that the suffering of the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides has not been in vain.

Each year Newham remembers the horrendous crimes, racism and victimisation committed during the Nazi persecution. It is our opportunity to strengthen our resolve to tackle anti-Semitism and discrimination in all forms.

The theme of Holocaust Memorial Day 2017 is How Can Life Go On? I invite people to join us at Stratford Old Town Hall on Friday, January 27 from 9.30am to noon to hear from Harry Olmer, who lived through one of the most brutal periods of human history and survived no less than five concentration camps.

Thankfully, we are a democratic and tolerant borough, free of the evils of prejudice, racism and other forms of bigotry. Yet we must remain vigilant against acts of discrimination and reinforce the importance of the Holocaust as a reminder of where such prejudices can lead. In doing so we will build resilience through respect for difference and a shared sense of belonging.

Times of genocide are always times of social upheaval with people forced to flee their homes. Of the 173 refugees that have come to London under the Syrian vulnerable persons resettlement scheme, 26 have been housed in Newham.

We will continue to help vulnerable people who have fled conflict. The humanitarian crisis in Syria is unprecedented. Life has to go on for them, just as it did for those who survived or fled the Holocaust. Please join us on January 27 to remember the victims of all atrocities and make sure such hatred does not happen again. More from Sir Robin

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