Holocaust Memorial Day organisers have made an early start to the 2014 commemoration by launching its theme of journeys at a House of Commons reception.
Addressing the event, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “The theme works on all kinds of levels — of all the terrible death marches that took place, of the number people who escaped. It is also a journey of life, of how we as humanity still haven’t to come to terms with what happened in the Holocaust.”
Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer said he had co-hosted the reception as a “gentle nudge to make MPs aware” of HMD. In the event, 50 MPs attended and as many HMD organisers. They also heard from husband and wife Bob and Anne Kirk, who came to Britain on the Kindertransport. “I think the theme is brilliant,” Mrs Kirk said. “It will bring together everybody’s journey.”
HMD Trust chief executive Olivia Marks-Woldman explained: “We felt it was a very rich and resonant theme that would support people in running their Holocaust Memorial Day activities. We know MPs are passionately committed to this. This has been an opportunity for them to learn more about what goes on in their constituencies.”
Some 2,000 activities were run for HMD this year, half attended by more than 100 people.