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Commemorations over two days for Holocaust Memorial

Commemorations over two days for Holocaust Memorial

Thursday 26 January 2023

Commemorations over two days for Holocaust Memorial

Thursday 26 January 2023

Events spanning Thursday and Friday will see Holocaust Memorial Day observed across the Bailiwick with specific events to honour the memories of those who were held in Alderney and those deported from Guernsey during the Occupation.

Holocaust Memorial Day is observed annually on 27 January - the date that marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

A commemorative gathering will be held at Guernsey's Town Church this evening where the Dean of Guernsey will lead the congregation in prayers to remember the victims of the Holocaust and other acts of genocide both in Guernsey and around the world.

The Very Reverend Tim Barker said events like this serve to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust are learned by future generations.


Pictured: The Channel Islands links with the Holocaust - most notably and tragically through events which occurred in Alderney - are well documented.

Molly Robinson has been asked to play Vocalise by Rachmaninov on her cello, while Jonathon Vickers, the Senior Prefect of Elizabeth College will read some poems aimed at helping those present "to reflect on the significance of Holocaust Memorial Day".

The gathering, which is open to everyone, will be held at the Town Church from 18:00. By holding it this evening, Reverend Barker said it will not conflict with the Shabbat - the weekly observance for Jews which starts at sunset on Fridays.

"The annual observance of Holocaust Memorial Day is important for the whole community," he said.

Tim Wright, Head of Guernsey Music Service, added: "The Guernsey Music Service is yet again honoured to be included in the Holocaust Memorial Service."

Tomorrow, Friday 27 January will see wreaths laid at memorial on the White Rock to three different groups of people who perished during the war as a result of the Holocaust.

Three Jewish women - Marianne Grunfeld, Therese Steiner and Auguste Spitz - were deported to Occupied France during the Occupation of Guernsey. They all died in camps. Eight Guernsey residents were also deported and died - having been found guilty of acts of resistance during the Occupation.

Also at midday tomorrow, a wreath will be laid in memory of all of the foreign workers who were brought to the islands to build the fortifications which formed Hitler's Atlantic Wall.


Pictured: Many millions of people died as a result of the Holocaust. 

The foreign workers who were brought to Alderney will be honoured in a ceremony at the island's Hammond Memorial.

A spokesperson for Alderney said: "This day is particularly significant to the Island, given the suffering that was inflicted upon the workers who were brought to the island, following the evacuation in 1940."

All members of the community are invited to gather at the Hammond Memorial before a wreath is laid at 11:00.

There will be prayers offered by Father Paul Dzwig on behalf of Churches Together. 

People are also invited to 'light the darkness' at 20:00 tomorrow by lighting candles and putting them on display in their windows.

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