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Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Department for Interreligious Relations

Holocaust Memorial Evening, January 2020


‘Stand Together’

Holocaust Memorial Day 2020

John Foster, headteacher at St. Mary's Catholic School, Longbenton, welcomed faith representatives to a poignant memorial evening focused on standing together against all forms of racism and anti-semitism.

Mr. Gerald Stern told his father's story of life under the Nazi regime and his flight to England on the Kindertransport. 2020 being the 25th Anniversary of the Bosnian Genocide, the assembled audience heard from Mr. Smajo Beso, a survivor who was eight years of age in 1995. He told the story of his family's suffereing and eventual flight to England.

Both accounts emphasised how friends and neighbours can be turned against each other, and how quickly this can escalate into genocide.

St. Mary's School Choir and harpist Kim Johnstone provided moving music for the evening, and Rabbi Aaron Lipsey recited the Memorial Prayer.