top of page

Holocaust Memorial Day

Today's reflection is from our curate, Rev'd Andrew Day


I grew up with four grandmothers, and for that matter with four grandfathers, two biological and two step. I know, it sounds very greedy, but it was a blessing of great riches. There was a rumour that one of my grandmothers was born Jewish and in the dangerous times of the 1930s had converted to Roman Catholicism (and a zealous Catholic she was). She, and her family, fled German-speaking Europe for Southern Africa. This was never something of which anyone spoke until after her death, and even in the 1990s, not all of the family was convinced by the story until a box was discovered with documents in it; these seemed to confirm the tale’s veracity. In 2018, as part of my ordination training, I spent a week at Auschwitz, the Nazi extermination camp near Krakow in Poland. This was my second visit to the camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau and was just as horrifying as the first. There is a palpable sense of evil which pervades the place to this day - the horrendous narrative of inhumanity. My grandmother’s surname was Schneeberg, or possibly Schneeberger, and so I set about looking through the record to find any references to anyone with that surname. This is what I found.

You cannot account for the emotions you experience in the moment that you read such a list - each and every one of them, possibly, connected to you by some familial line, but in that moment, irrespective of whether they are or are not, they become, for that moment, a relation. There is a deep sadness that overwhelms when you consider the horror perpetrated on innocent human beings. Placing that stone, that pebble, on the running board of a cattle-wagon, in memory of those who died, becomes that much more meaningful, that much more heart-rending, when you assume that relationship.


Holocaust Memorial Day gives each and every one of us the opportunity to hold, even metaphorically, a pebble to remember those who have died as a consequence of inhumanity, of prejudice, of a fervently held belief of one’s superiority over another, in the Holocaust, or for that matter in any of the genocides before or since. And to reflect that it did not just happen then, it happens now! “Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people; from those who are deceitful and unjust deliver me! O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me;”

(from Psalm 43)

Andrew

You may wish to join any (or all) of the following this coming Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January:

  • Midday Prayer led by the Rev’d David Bagnall, from Kigali, Rwanda.

  • A Commemoration from Auschwitz at 3pm on the 27th January 76.auschwitz.org

  • The National HMD2021 Commemoration will be streamed online at 7pm on the 27th January - go to HMD2021 to register to participate

  • Light a candle at 8pm and place it in a window as an act of remembrance.

21 views4 comments

Recent Posts

See All

From the Priest-in-Charge

Eastertide greetings! Alleluia! Christ is risen! Every year I am struck by a different layer of meaning about Easter, though of course, it’s not new at all – I just hadn’t seen or grasped it before. T

4 комментария


Hugh Waldock
Hugh Waldock
23 янв. 2021 г.

God bless you. This is me singing and playing Glory to Thee my God this Night by Thomas Tallis. I record my own music for the internet. https://soundcloud.com/hugh-gregory-waldock/glory-to-the-my-god-this-night-thomas-tallis?in=hugh-gregory-waldock/sets/the-best-of-hugh-gregory It's the first time I've recorded a complete Hymn entirely on my own singing and playing. I own a Hymns Ancient and Modern New Standard from 1983. I lost my copy of Hymns old and New I must replace I also have a personal copy of the Psalter. I have many happy memories of being an Anglican chorister for 12 years and singing this in St Edmundsbury Cathedral in winter with my breath not so much as vaporising but crystallising on my cassock and surplus.. I started a religious studies course th…

Лайк

Hugh Waldock
Hugh Waldock
23 янв. 2021 г.

I was born in 1977 in the world of this song Was keine wagt.... What no-one judges.....It still makes me cry that I was born into a world of love probably conceived by a couple making love to Jonny Mattias's Christmas number one A Child is Born.. It's terrifying what people find good and witty these days knowing what I've read and known about Nazism. Wish we could turn back the clock in a way. To say this again in a different way. It''s a lovely song this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvw7W5MGP80

Лайк

Hugh Waldock
Hugh Waldock
23 янв. 2021 г.

He's a really nice guy this singer Konstantin Wecker. He rebelled against Nazi culture in Germany in the late 1970s and wrote songs like this I find particularly beautiful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZtmfCJRErY. They were hard line in their language but it was so effective against them back then. I heard him perform this at the Anti War protest on 15th February 2003 in Berlin. Sage Nein means, "Say, No!" to being a Nazi.

Лайк

Hugh Waldock
Hugh Waldock
23 янв. 2021 г.

My ex girlfriend was Jewish and I am a Christian. I experienced what happened to someone who was a victim of antisemitism forced into exile in Germany from her native country in Eastern Europe, she was totally destroyed mentally. she was the best academic in her school and was told she couldn't have a prize for it on account of her ethnic background. She was also beaten by racist police, and the family were threatened when a person they were friendly with form an ethnic minority dies in suspicious circumstances. They were forced into exile because of that. I helped her to get her German passport by getting her first job. in Germany as an embroidery teacher. in a children's…

Лайк
bottom of page