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Guernsey's Holocaust commemorations change date

Guernsey's Holocaust commemorations change date

Thursday 20 January 2022

Guernsey's Holocaust commemorations change date

Thursday 20 January 2022

Holocaust commemorations in Guernsey are being moved from January to April to coincide with Yom HaShoah.

Yom HaShoah is Israel's day of commemoration for the millions of Jews murdered by Nazi Germany and its collaborators and the Jewish resistance during that time.

The Holocaust has previously been commemorated on 27 January. This day has included a memorial service at the White Rock led by the Dean of Guernsey, the Very Reverend Tim Barker, followed by music, performance and prayer at the Town Church.

Tim barker

Pictured: The Dean of Guernsey leads a service at the White Rock to remember Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust. 

The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture agreed to move commemorations to April to coincide with Yom HaShoah following a request from the Dean and members of the local Jewish community. 

The local Jewish community initially approached the Dean with the idea in January last year after lockdown and other public health measures prevented commemorations from occurring at their usual time in January.

The Committee said it was "happy to support the request and hopes the shift in date will encourage even more participation from the community in this important commemoration". 

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, President of the Committee, thanked the Dean for encouraging the States to change the date of commemorations.

"While the United Nations designated 27 January as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, countries around the world commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on different dates," said Deputy Dudley-Owen.

"It was felt that by moving our commemoration to align with the Jewish Yom HaShoah, which takes place in April or May each year, this will give the commemoration a wider audience with a significant multi-faith emphasis.

"We also hope that the weather will be kinder and enable more islanders to play an active role."

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen

Pictured: Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen thanked the Dean of Guernsey for his efforts to change the annual date on which the island commemorates the Holocaust.  

Yom HaShoah is the recognised commemoration date in Israel and other countries and, while commemorating the Holocaust means a great deal to all faiths and communities as we collectively strive to ensure such atrocities never occur again, aligning with the Jewish community’s wishes felt like the right thing to do,” said the Dean. 

A new working group, including the Dean and members of the Jewish community, will now develop plans for this year’s event. Further details will be announced in due course.

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