The 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was marked with a national commemoration event on Monday, 27th January 2020 at Methodist Central Hall Westminster. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were welcomed to the event by Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, Superintendent Minister of Methodist Central Hall Westminster. The event was broadcast by the BBC and took place in the historic Great Hall. Also in attendance were Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, the Archbishop of Canterbury and The Chief Rabbi.
The event featured music, readings and testimony from Arek Hersh MBE a survivor of Auschwitz and Mala Tribich MBE a survivor of the Bergen- Belsen concentration camp . Whilst remembering the Nazi Holocaust 75 years ago, the event also marked more recent genocides, including those in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Srebrenica, during the Balkans conflict on the 1990s. The focus for Holocaust Memorial Day is learning from genocide in order to achieve a better future so we can create a better society and more united communities.
Revd Dr Martyn Atkins Superintendent Minister of Methodist Central Hall Westminster who attended the ceremony said, ‘It was our privilege at MCHW to play host to HMD2020, this poignant, moving and, sadly, oh so necessary event. The ‘call’ to reject discrimination, anti-semitism, hate and xenophobia was heard loud and clear, as was the clarion cry to live together on this fragile planet in such a way that horrors like The Holocaust, and the more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur disappear from the face of the earth for good.’
- Methodist Central Hall Westminster is a global Christian family following Jesus at the heart of London. With members from over 35 national groupings the church has been based in its historic building, opposite Westminster Abbey since 1912. In 1946 the church moved out for two months so that the first meeting of the United Nations could take place in the Great Hall. In 1966 the Jules Rimet World Cup trophy was stolen from the building and later than year the first performance of Joseph and Amazing Technicolored Dream coat took place on the Great Hall stage. Sir Winston Churchill, Gandhi & Revd Dr Martin Luther King have all spoken in the building as have many other leading national and international figures. The building has played host to may events and conferences, which since 2001 have been managed by Central Hall Westminster Ltd, a not-for profit organisation employed by the trustees of the building to raise funds for the upkeep and development of this listed building.
- Holocaust Memorial Day has taken place in the UK since 2001. The UK played a leading role in establishing HMD as an international day of commemoration in 2000, when 46 governments signed the Stockholm Declaration.
- The event at Methodist Central Hall was delivered by The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. The Holocaust Memorial Day trust supports and delivers events around the UK from Bournemouth to Belfast in libraries, schools, prisons, councils and many other community organisations.