Islanders invited to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

18 January 2024

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) has been held since 2001 on the anniversary of the liberation of the camps at Auschwitz in Poland in 1945

The New North Quay will be the focus of commemoration on 27 January as people in Jersey join those around the world to remember the tens of millions of victims of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution, and subsequent acts of genocide.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) has been held since 2001 on the anniversary of the liberation of the camps at Auschwitz in Poland in 1945.

The Island’s observance takes place in the Occupation Tapestry Gallery in the Maritime Museum on the New North Quay and is followed by the laying of wreaths outside at the Lighthouse Memorial overlooking the harbour.

The Memorial is dedicated to 21 Islanders who died in German prisons and camps in the Second World War and hundreds more who were imprisoned in the Island and Europe during the Occupation.

The 2024 guest speaker is Smajo Beŝo, the founder of the Bosnian Genocide Education Trust, which commemorates the murder of at least 8,000 men and boys in the town of Srebrenica in July 1995.

Mr Beŝo was seven years old when war broke out in Bosnia Herzegovina in the former Yugoslavia in 1992. His father and several male relatives were tortured in concentration camps, as Bosnian Muslims became targets of genocide. Close family members were also murdered.

In 1994, Mr Beŝo and his family came to the UK as refugees and built a new life in the North East of England. Today, he teaches architecture at Newcastle University and has played a key role in organising Holocaust Memorial Day and Bosnian Genocide commemorations across the country.

During his stay in Jersey, as well as speaking at the HMD ceremony, he will also be sharing his experiences with secondary school students and giving a talk at Jersey Arts Centre on 25 January.

Following Mr Beŝo ‘s speech on 27 January, members of the Jersey Arts Centre youtheatre will deliver readings and the Dean of Jersey, The Very Rev Mike Keirle, will give the closing address. The wreath laying ceremony will be led by Dr Karen Kyd, wife of the Lieutenant Governor, on behalf of the Crown. Wreaths will also be laid by the Bailiff, Sir Timothy Le Cocq, families of the 21 and the Jersey Jewish Congregation. They will also be laid in memory of slave and forced workers, victims

of Nazi persecution (including gay men and people with physical disabilities) and wartime evacuees and internees, and on behalf of local organisations and faith communities.

Picture opportunities:

Jersey’s Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration takes place at 2pm on Saturday, 27 January in the Occupation Tapestry Gallery at the Maritime Museum and at the Lighthouse Memorial on the New North Quay. Members of the public are welcome to attend and should arrive by 1.30pm.

‘An Audience with Smajo Beŝo’ is at 7.30pm on Thursday, 25 January at Jersey Arts Centre. Tickets are available from the Arts Centre Box Office

A video of the HMD 2024 UK ceremony in London is available to watch on the HMD Trust website at Holocaust Memorial Day Trust | HMD 2024. It features Jersey’s Grace Trust Choir, who were invited to be one of only five choirs taking part in a performance of the song ‘Rise Up’ for the live ceremony.

The Grace Trust Choir pre-recorded their contribution and the performance appears towards the end of the video. Jersey’s guest speaker, Smajo Beŝo, also pre-recorded a clip and can be seen lighting a candle.