Office of the Chief Rabbi

Chief Rabbi addresses need for ‘proactive’ commemoration on Holocaust Memorial Day

The Chief Rabbi spoke fervently about the need to “proactively remember” the Holocaust and subsequent genocides throughout a day of engagements held to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, which this year coincided with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

At the day’s principal event – a national memorial ceremony attended by 200 Holocaust survivors and 1,000 further guests – Chief Rabbi Mirvis encouraged attendees to “remember proactively in order to guarantee that we never forget.” He emphasised the merits of educational strategies in preventing the reoccurrence of past tragedies, and highlighted the need to challenge prejudice globally, both within and beyond the Jewish community. An audience including the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall listened to his impassioned plea for the continued memorialisation of Holocaust victims; “the survivors are calling out to us from the depths of their heart: ‘Please keep the memory alive.’”

The Chief Rabbi addresses students of La Sainte Union School on Holocaust Memorial Day

The Chief Rabbi urges students at La Sainte Union School to keep memories of the Holocaust alive

Prior to the ceremony, the Chief Rabbi attended a reception along with other distinguished guests, meeting and talking with survivors of both the Holocaust and successive genocides. That morning he visited La Sainte Union Girls’ School, where he urged the audience to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive. “The antidote to cruelty, he remarked, “is loving-kindness.”

Chief Rabbi Mirvis meets the Prince of Wales at a reception before the ceremony

The Chief Rabbi greets HRH Prince of Wales at a reception preceding the memorial service

Watch the Chief Rabbi’s address at City Hall here.