Holocaust Memorial Day 2023: “Ordinary People”Monday 23rd January 2023
Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27th January each year and calls us to reflect and remember all the millions of people who were murdered during the Nazi persecution and in the genocides that followed.
The day marks the liberation of the largest Nazi death camp – Auschwitz Birkenau – and calls us to reflect and challenge prejudice, discrimination, and hatred in our society today.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has announced this year’s theme as “ordinary people” – a simple but stark reminder of what unites us – that ordinary people were perpetrators, they were bystanders, they were rescuers or witnesses – and ordinary people were victims.
What is abnormal is that I am normal. That I survived the Holocaust and went on to love beautiful girls, to talk, to write, to have toast and tea and live my life – that is what is abnormal.
Elie Wiesel, survivor of the Holocaust
To help us reflect this year, Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Bishops’ International Affairs department for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has released a message for Holocaust Memorial Day, in which he calls on us all to consider how we – as ordinary people – can stand up for justice in our world today.
He said: “Each one of us has the capacity for both immense good and for evil. As we take a moment to pause from our daily lives, let us reflect upon our own responsibility to prevent future genocides and consider how we view marginalised people in our communities. We commit ourselves to stand against antisemitism, injustice and prejudice wherever it might be found.
“Together we remember the Holocaust and pray that love will triumph over evil.”