Steve in support of Holocaust Memorial Day

Stephen Pound MP meets survivors of the Holocaust at launch of resources for Holocaust Memorial Day 2018

Stephen Pound MP listened to Dr Martin Stern who survived the Holocaust as a child and met Laura Marks OBE, Chair of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, at the launch event in Parliament for Holocaust Memorial Day 2018.

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.

Steve with Laura Marks OBE, Chair of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) promotes and supports HMD activities across the UK. Each year HMDT selects a theme around which HMD activities can focus. The theme for 2018 is The power of words.

Martin spoke movingly about his experiences of being arrested by Dutch police at school when he was just five years old, along with his little sister Erica. Together they survived the Holocaust, having been sent to Westerbork and Theresienstadt concentration camps.

Reflecting on the theme for HMD 2018 The power of words, Martin said:

‘Words can strengthen the thin shield of civilisation or shatter it. Civilised words can civilise, educate. Uncivilised words can consign us to the depths.’

Stephen said:

‘Martin used his words to powerfully speak about the importance of marking Holocaust Memorial Day – a day when we remember the millions who were affected by the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. I want to encourage people in Ealing North to mark HMD on 27 January 2018.’

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said:

‘We were delighted that Stephen showed his support for Holocaust Memorial Day. We hope that many more people in Ealing North will use the free resources available through our website to organise activities for next year’s HMD – adding to the record 7,700 activities which took place for HMD 2017.’

Anniversary Service of The Omagh Bomb

August 15th, 1998 saw one if the very worst atrocities in Northern Ireland when a dissident Republican terror gang killed 29 people in the Co. Tyrone town of Omagh.

Protestants and Catholics alike died in the blasts and among the dead are numbered unborn twins.
Every tear the Omagh Families Self Help Group gather in memorium at the Peace Garden built to honour the memories of the dead and the injured and to show that Omagh and its people look to a future of peace.

I have been privileged to represent the shadow Northern Ireland team at the commemoration service for many years and as we approach the 20th anniversary the emotions are still raw and the tears are real but the determination never to fall back into sectarian bloodshed has never been stronger.