Oxford will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau with 75 memorial flames. 

The flames will be lit as part of a service at Oxford Town Hall on Holocaust Memorial Day, Monday 27th January. 

Stand Together is the theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day, exploring “how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured socities by marginalising certain groups, and how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing together with their neighbours, and speaking out against oppression.”

HEC Paris MT20 Advert

The service will also mark the 25th anniversary of the genocides in Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia and Darfur. 

A Yahrzeit candle, a Jewish memorial candle, will be lit to reflect and remember the six million Jewish people murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the milions of other people killed under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genoicides around the world.

A reflection service, which will take place in the Old Library, it will be open to members of the public, City Council staff and councillors of any faith or none.

Councillor Craig Simmons, Lord Mayor of Oxford, will host the service which will also include an interview about the persecution of Jewish people in pogroms with Dr George Gilbert, Lecturer in Modern Russian History at the University of Southampton.

The service will also see contributions from the City Rector, The Reverend Anthony Buckley, Penny Faust of the Oxford Jewish Congregation, Jawaid Malik of the Oxford Foundation, and Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East. 

Councillor Simmons said: “It is important we remember the horrors of the past to avoid them being repeated.

“Some of my own family came to the UK as refugees from the violent pogroms in Eastern Europe. One of my grandparents escaped from Vitebsk; the widespread massacres of Jewish people that occurred there in 1941 are well documented. Those family members who remained were certainly killed.”

The Holocaust witnessed the ideological and systematic prosecution and mass murder of millions of European Jewish, Travellers, the disabled, intellectual dissidents and homosexuals.