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Holocaust Memorial Day - 27 January

27th January 2012


Catholic Bishops’ Conference Of England And Wales
Committee for Catholic Jewish Relations

Power Point (3 MB) | PDF (700 kb)

Using our Voice
Everyone has a fundamental Human Right to freedom of speech. Each of us has a voice and has the choice to use it. The choices we make in the words and language we use every day contribute to creating a safe and fair society. Voices from the past and present which can inspire us, such as the Rosenstraβe protests of 1943 when the German wives of 1,600 Jewish men who had been held in Rose Street, Berlin spoke up and secured their release.

Giving a Voice to the Voiceless
The works of many charitable organisations give voices to the voiceless. Survivors Fund works to ensure that the memory of the 1994 genocide is not forgotten and to create a safer future for Rwandans.

Sustaining the Legacy of Voices from the Past
Dr Ludwig Guttmann, the founder of the Paralympics, was a Jewish doctor who fled Germany in 1939 to seek refuge in England. His work with disabled people led him to establish the Paralympics. He spoke up for the rights of disabled people to be given the same opportunities in the sporting arena as other athletes.
We know that voices have been taken away in the past, and are ignored or still silenced today. As the world focuses on the UK in the Olympic year of 2012, we must use our voices to speak up. Discrimination and exclusion are still rife in our communities, we hear stories of atrocities from across the world, yet some remain bystanders.


The Dialogue of Action
Pope Benedict, in his meeting with religious leaders when he came to the UK, spoke of the “dialogue of action … in concrete forms of collaboration”. Last month, during an audience at the Vatican, Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks discussed with Pope Benedict their mutual fears for Europe’s future. In a lecture prior to the audience, the Chief Rabbi said, “When a civilisation loses its faith, it loses its future. When it recovers its faith, it recovers its future. For the sake of our children, and their children not yet born, we – Jews and Christians, side-by-side – must renew our faith and its prophetic voice. We must help Europe rediscover its soul.”

Celebrating and honouring difference
We remember that we are all created in God’s own likeness and celebrate the wonderful diversity of race and cultures in our world. As we enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of fellow feeling and understanding, we need to recognize God’s presence in those most different from us and speak up for those who suffer in any way.

Suggestion for a Bidding Prayer
God of compassion, hear the cry of those who suffer political oppression;
those who languish in prisons and labour camps, untried or falsely condemned;
those whose bodies are shattered, or whose minds are unhinged by torture or deprivation. Meet them in their anguish and despair
and kindle in them the light of hope and the assurance of your love. Give us the courage to speak up for what we understand to be right. Enable us to learn the lessons of the past so that we may create a safer, better future.

Help us, on this Holocaust Memorial Day to Speak Up and Speak Out.
In the name of him who suffered, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

God, our loving Father, we honour the memory of all those whose lives were so tragically lost in the Holocaust and in more recent genocides.

The Vatican Documents on Catholic Jewish Relations
Documents from the Holy See
Catholic Truth Society, London

For Holocaust Memorial Day Pack
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust
PO Box 61074 London SE1P 5BX
T: 0845 838 1883

For outreach to schools, resource materials, visits to Auschwitz:
Holocaust Educational Trust
BCM Box 7892 London WC1N 3XX T: 020 7222 6822

For educational material and visits:
Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre
Laxton, Newark, Notts NG22 OPA
T: 01623 836627

The Imperial War Museum
Lambeth Road
London SE1 6HZ
T: 020 7416 5320

For general information:
The Council of Christians and Jews
Godliman House
21 Godliman Street, London, EC4V 5BD
T: 0207 015 5160

The International Council of Christians and Jews: www.cjrelations.net
For resources on racial justice and ethnic minorities:
Catholic Association for Racial Justice
9 Henry Road, London, N4 2LH

Prepared by: The Committee for Catholic Jewish Relations Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Secretary: Sr Margaret Shepherd nds, 39 Eccleston Square, London, SW1V 1BX
T: 020 7901 4855 Email: Margaret.Shepherd@cbcew.org.uk