A time to reflect as Holocaust Memorial Day is marked in Lowestoft
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Wreaths have been laid as a town fell silent to remember others.
At the spot where hundreds of young Jewish refugees arrived in 1938, the people of Lowestoft gathered at a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.
About 100 people reflected upon the town's role in the 'kindertransport' program, while remembering those who died in the Holocaust, and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
With 'the power of words' the theme for this year's civic service to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, a ceremony was held at Lowestoft's railway station today (Friday, January 26).
A wreath was laid by Waveney District Council chairman Frank Mortimer and the Deputy Mayor of Lowestoft Peter Knight, while Waveney Youth Council chairman Lauren Wilson also laid a wreath on behalf of local young people.
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Addressing the crowds, memories of Lowestoft's role in the 'kindertransport' program, which brought more than 200 Jewish children to the town to escape persecution in Europe, were recalled. The children were billeted at a number of places across Waveney – including Pontins in Pakefield and St Felix School in Reydon.
Mr Mortimer said: 'I am very honoured to be here to welcome you to Holocaust Memorial Day 2018. We need to remember the past but think about the future in ensuring the atrocities of the past can somehow be avoided.'
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Deputy mayor Peter Knight spoke about Renie Inow, who was 10 when she travelled alone on the Kindertransport in 1939, leaving her parents behind in Germany.
With a moment of reflection and prayers led by Rev Matthew Payne, vicar at Christ Church Lowestoft, he said: 'We are thinking about 'the power of words', how they can be used and abused, for good or such evil, and the lessons we can learn. Today we are remembering millions of people murdered in the Nazi holocaust, and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Let's remember the power of words, and let's put our words to work – for peace between all people.'
With the wreath-laying ceremony organised by Waveney's Communities Team, speaking afterwards the chairman of Waveney Youth Council – Pakefield High School student Lauren Wilson, 13 – said: 'Its an honour for me to lay a wreath on behalf of all the young people to remember all those who died.'