Community 'Stands together' for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020

Two special events took place on Monday 27 January for the community to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Releasing doves on Holocaust Memorial Day 2020

Organised in partnership with Welwyn Hatfield Interfaith, local secondary schools came together in the morning to give a series of performances around this year's theme 'Stand Together'.

The theme encouraged reflection on how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups.

Students from Ridgeway Academy, Onslow St Audrey's, Stanborough, Monks Walk and Chancellor's put on a range of dance and drama performances.

The performances were followed by a tribute on The Campus in WGC, including readings, two minutes' silence and the releasing of symbolic peace doves. The events were attended by the Mayor and the Rabbi of WGC

The Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield, Cllr Roger Trigg, said: "I was extremely impressed with the moving and heartfelt performances we saw today at the theatre, and I'd like to thank the schools for their hard work and creativity in telling these stories.

"Our younger generations are already showing us how they are taking the lessons of the past and helping build a better future, in the natural world and also through these acts of remembrance."

Wendy Lidgate, from Welwyn Hatfield Interfaith, said: "It's been a great privilege to see the young people's presentations today. You can tell they have put in the time to research individual stories and try to understand what happened - and why.

"Their performances were full of empathy. Personally, I couldn't hold back the tears during the dance piece about Cambodia by pupils from Ridgeway Academy. Big thanks to teachers and pupils for bringing us stirring performances, and to the events team at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council for staging such a quality event.

"It challenged us to think what more we can do in our own lives to build bridges of trust with people who are different, and to resist prejudice and discrimination. We are lucky to live in a time of peace, and I'm glad the next generation care about peace too.

"Thanks also to our Mayor, Cllr Roger Trigg, and our local synagogue."

After the ceremony there was an opportunity to browse the accompanying art exhibition, also themed 'Stand Together', including thought-provoking submissions from local artists and members of the public. The exhibition is on at Campus West for the public to browse until Sunday 2 February.