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Holocaust Memorial Day: Mayor to host online service

Publication date:

St Albans Mayor Councillor Janet Smith is to host an online service to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day with this year’s theme of - Be the Light in the Darkness.

Residents from across the District are welcome to follow the event on Zoom from 7pm on Wednesday 27 January.

It is being organised by St Albans United Synagogue in partnership with St Albans City and District Council.

There will be a video to highlight the horrors of the Holocaust and later genocides as well as a talk by principal guest Francois Robertson, a Holocaust survivor who fled Brussels with her parents to escape the Nazis.

There will also be an address by St Albans United Minister, Rabbi Daniel Sturgess, music, prayers, a minute’s silence and candle lighting in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and other acts of genocide.

Normally, a multi-faith service is held at St Albans Cathedral or one of two local synagogues, but this is not possible this year because of the pandemic.

Holocaust Memorial Day is held every year on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945.

The occasion remembers the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust and the millions of others killed in genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and elsewhere. 

Cllr Smith, Mayor of St Albans City and District, said:

I’m sure every member of our community will be able to relate to the theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day.

There wasn’t much light in the darkness for victims of the Holocaust and this service will be a call to action against different types of darkness such as identity-based persecution or misinformation. It asks people to consider the different ways they can let in the light such as highlighting falsehoods, a highly relevant topic for our times.

The COVID-19 emergency meant we could not mark the day with a service at the Cathedral or synagogue, but we can still join together online. All sectors of our community will be represented to show their opposition to prejudice and hatred.

Anyone wanting to attend the service on Zoom must register by Monday 25 January with the Mayor’s office at or 01727 819544. They will sent a link and a programme.

For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day, please see:

Contact for the Mayor’s office: 
Alison Orde, the Mayor’s Civic Officer, 01727

Contact for the media: 
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, 01727