Enfield Council commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day on Thursday 25 January with a special ceremony at Dugdale Arts Centre (DAC).
The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 was ‘Fragility of Freedom’, reflecting on how freedom is fragile and vulnerable to abuse.
The evening event was held at Dugdale Arts Centre (DAC) in Enfield, where local religious and civic dignitaries were welcomed with a speech from Enfield Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Ergin Erbil. followed by speeches from leader of the opposition, Cllr. Alessandro Georgiou, Rabbi Emanuel Levy, Rabbi Meir Shindler and Rabbi Danny Rich.
A film presentation by pupils from Wolfson Hillel Primary School in Southgate was shown and was followed by readings from pupils at Chace Community School and St Anne’s Catholic School.
The event saw speeches from Rabbi Emanuel Levy from the Palmers Green and Southgate Synagogue, Rabbi Rich from Southgate Progressive Synagogue and Marija Hamza from the Roma Support Group charity.
Enfield Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Ergin Erbil, said: “Our event in the borough provided a meaningful opportunity for local people, children and young people and religious leaders to consider how we can all make our society a better place today, free from hatred, prejudice and discrimination.”
This year’s Holocaust theme was “Fragility of Freedom” and pupils from Wolfson-Hillel primary school in Southgate, gave a film presentation of testimonies of relatives who perished and survived the Holocaust including the experience of the kinder transport children who arrived in Britain in the late 1930’s.
Marija Hamza from the Roma Support Group gave a presentation of her communities experiences in Nazi-occupied Europe and gave a personal account of her family’s tragedy in former Yugoslavia.
In attendance, representing Southgate ward, Cllr. Chris Joannides said, ” Holocaust Memorial Day should act as a solemn reminder that we must never forget some of the darkest and heinous acts in human history. Today’s event provides the opportunity for Enfield to reflect on those who lost their lives and those who survived and Holocaust and other atrocities”.
Cllr. Ergin Erbil closed the event in thanking guests and Council staff.
Residents are also invited to a Holocaust Memorial Day exhibition which is on display in the foyer at DAC.
Three cases of artefacts are available to view, relating to Grete Rudkin (nee Glauber), who came to Britain on a Kindertransport in 1939. Grete left behind her mother Else (or Zelma) Glauber. Else, a single mother, did not survive the War.
Grete was adopted by Olive Dunand Rudkin, a schoolteacher and Quaker who lived in Enfield. After her studies, Grete became a teacher. She also attended Enfield County School for Girls.
The display includes:
Letters to and from Grete, written between 1939 and 1970
Typed inventory in German of the items Grete brought to the UK
Fremdenpass or ‘alien passport’
School reports for Grete
Photographs of Grete
The artefacts have been loaned to the Council courtesy of Jewish Museum London and will be on display until Sunday 18 February. The museum and all exhibition areas at DAC are free of charge. Visit the DAC website for opening hours: www.dugdaleartscentre.co.uk/plan-your-visit
The Holocaust Memorial Day event was filmed and the footage can now be viewed in full on Enfield Council’s YouTube channel. Visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_t18tU6kqE to watch.
For further information visit the Holocaust Memorial Day website at: www.hmd.org.uk
Left to Right- Cllr. Emma Supple, Cllr. Joanne Laban, Cllr. Jim Stevens, Cllr. Chris Joannides, Rabbi Danny Rich, Rabbi Meir Shindler, Rabbi Emanuel Levy, Cllr. Ruby Sampson, Cllr. Pat Gregory and Cllr. Alessandro Georgiou