The annual Holocaust Memorial Day was held on Friday 27th January in a moving service by the Sir Montefiore Memorial Tree in Albion Gardens, Ramsgate and was attended by close to 100 people who were given a chance to remember the victims of genocide, both past and present.
The Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945 is well documented but the more recent atrocities in Cambodia (1975 – 1979), Rwanda (1994), Bosnia (1995) and Darfur (Sudan – 2003 to the Present Day) were also remembered.
With a central theme of “How can life go on”, the service was conducted by the Mayor of Ramsgate’s chaplain, Reverend Stuart Piper, who gave an emotive and inspirational sermon in which he spoke of the progression from suffering and sadness through to education (learning from the past) and on to sharing and ultimately recovery. These stages were then developed by Rabbi Cliff Cohen (Thanet and District Reform Synagogue) with “Kaddish” being recited by David Gradus (Margate Hebrew Congregation) and the “Shema Koleinu” chanted by Mr Godfrey Fischer, the President and Senior Warden of the Thanet and District Reform Synagogue.
Representatives of the Thanet Jewish Community were joined by 14 students from years 8 and 9 of The Royal Harbour Academy and by members of the general public who braved the elements to pay their respects.
The Mayor of Ramsgate, Councillor Trevor Shonk, was joined by Brigadier (Retd) David Ralls the Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Mrs Kathrin Smith the High Sheriff of Kent, Councillor Chris Wells the Leader of the Thanet District Council and South Thanet MP Craig McKinlay. The Mayor of Margate, Councillor Robin Edwards was also in attendance with the Mayoress of Margate Mrs Dorothy Collins and several Ramsgate Town Councillors.
Councillor Shonk praised the dedication of Ramsgate’s townsfolk in supporting this Memorial Day Service and thanked Emma Brett of the Ramsgate Town Council for organising and coordinating it.
Further information regarding the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust can be found at www.hmd.org.uk