Holocaust Memorial Day Candles 570x310 USE web

Cheshire East Council to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 

11 January 2024

Cheshire East Council will hold a service of remembrance to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

The Mayor of Cheshire East, Councillor Rod Fletcher, will lead the service at Macclesfield Town Hall at 11am on Friday 26 January.

Members of the public are warmly welcome to attend and will be joined by civic dignitaries representing communities from across the borough. 

The hour-long ceremony will include readings of testaments from survivors of genocide, the lighting of memorial candles and a two minutes’ silence.

The guest speaker will be Mr Ernie Hunter, from the Northern Holocaust Education Group (NHEG). He will recount the story of his mother, Fanny Höchstetter, and how long-standing, friendly Christian-Jewish relationships in the small German market town of Laupheim, were destroyed by the Nazis. 

NHEG was founded in recognition that the first generation of Holocaust survivors will not be able to continue to tell their stories for ever. Its aim is to ensure that future generations can continue to experience these life stories of victims of Nazi persecution and the Holocaust, in a way that is both meaningful and relevant to the issues of today. 

Invitations are being sent to all town and parish councils across Cheshire East, along with secondary schools in the Macclesfield area. Further information will be available the council’s website. Any help to publicise the Macclesfield commemorative event in your local community would be appreciated.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is marked each year on or around 27 January – the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp by the Soviet Red Army. 

On and around this day, schools, communities, faith groups and others across the UK join together in national and local events to commemorate the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust by the Nazis and their collaborators, as well victims of other acts of Nazi persecution and of subsequent genocides.

Since 1945 there have been several other attempted genocides across the world – including Rwanda, Darfur and Cambodia – and these are also commemorated on Holocaust Memorial Day.

HMD also provides an opportunity to reflect on the contemporary relevance of the Holocaust, an especially poignant consideration for this year’s commemorations, which take place against a background of rising antisemitism within the UK and globally.

Each year’s HMD has a different theme, chosen by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, as a focus for educational and commemorative events. The theme for HMD 2024 is ‘Fragility of Freedom’.