Penny Mordaunt MP listened to John Hajdu who survived the Holocaust in Hungary; and met Sokphal Din, a survivor of the genocide in Cambodia; at the launch event for Holocaust Memorial Day 2017.
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is commemorated each year on 27 January – the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death and concentration camp. HMD provides an opportunity for everyone to learn lessons from the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. HMD asks people to apply these lessons to the present day to create a safer, better future.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) promotes and supports HMD activities in the UK. Each year HMDT selects a theme around which HMD activities can focus. The theme for 2017 is How can life go on?
John spoke about his experience of being forced to live in a Budapest ghetto at the age of seven but managing to survive, only to escape the subsequent Communist regime in Hungary in 1956. John recalled his long journey as a refugee with his mother which saw them settle in Great Britain - a distant country where neither spoke English. With determination, John made the country home and whilst sharing his experiences, he encouraged MPs and invited guests to mark the theme of HMD 2017: How can life go on?
‘John and Sokphal’s stories are a reminder of the importance of marking Holocaust Memorial Day – a day where we remember the millions who were affected by the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. I want to encourage people in Portsmouth to mark HMD on 27 January 2017.’
Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said:
‘We were delighted that Penny showed her support for Holocaust Memorial Day. We hope that many more people in Portsmouth will use the free resources available through our website to organise activities for next year’s HMD – adding to the record 5,590 activities which took place for HMD 2016.’