REDDITCH has been chosen to light one of 70 candles to mark this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day.
The special candle, which will represent the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenhau concentration camp, will be lit during a remembrance event on Saturday, January 24, starting at the Town Hall.
The town has been picked from a list of 2,500 events across the country to receive the candle which has been commissioned by The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and designed by Sir Anish Kapoor.
For the last 12 years Redditch Borough Council has marked the day with a community event which includes a town centre procession, performances by local groups including the Polish Society, the Kerala Cultural Association and school choirs.
Holocaust survivors, including Simon Weston, Dr Martin Stern and Eva Clark, have also given talks about their experiences.
This year’s event will begin at 10.30am at the Town Hall and will include an act of commitment in the Kingfisher Centre, a procession through the town with a pause for thought at the Holocaust Memorial public artwork outside St Stephen’s Church, before a talk by Iby Knill back at the Town Hall at 11.35am.
The grandmother, who was a prisoner in Auschwitz, will be sharing her story of survival after promising a young girl who was going to be experimented on that she would tell everyone the truth about the camp.
Bill Hartnett, leader of Redditch Borough Council, said: “I am really proud that our bid, to be one of the 70 organisations lighting a candle on this historic day was successful.
“Redditch was among the first to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day which is a time for us to pause and reflect on the millions of people whose lives have been affected by the Holocaust and subsequent acts of genocide.
“It is about taking these atrocities, celebrating survival, and learning from them to create safer and brighter futures.
“To have our event recognised by the HMDT is most humbling and I am delighted that our special guest speaker will be Auschwitz survivor Iby Knill who will be lighting the candle and later in the town hall talk about her time in Auschwitz – Birkenhau concentration camp.”