On Monday 27 January, the King’s Chamber Orchestra played at the Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration at the Guildhall in Worcester, organised by the Worcestershire Interfaith Forum with support from Worcester City Council and Platform Housing.
The event was focused around addresses from the Mayor of Worcester, Cllr Allah Ditta and the keynote speech given by Mindu Hornick MBE, an Auschwitz survivor, and included readings by pupils of local schools, including King’s.
The moving event, held on Holocaust Memorial Day was themed around standing together, and explored how genocidal regimes throughout history marginalise certain groups and how these tactics can be challenged by standing together as a community. Ms Hornick was born in Czechoslovakia and survived both Auschwitz-Birkenau and a slave labour facility during World War II. She has spent the last twenty years educating audiences about the dangers of intolerance and growing levels of Islamophobia and anti-semitism in the world. Mindu was recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours List for her services to Holocaust education and commemoration, working closely with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and Anne Frank’s Trust. The 2020 Holocaust Memorial Day not only commemorates both the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz but the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Bosnia.
Reporting to the Worceseter News, Cllr Ditta said: “On Holocaust Memorial Day we remember those who have lost their lives across the globe as a result of hatred and intolerance. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the actions which brought about that loss and to redouble our resolve to ensure this never happens again.”
The keynote speech and Q&A session were followed by a period of reflection, during which Chamber Orchestra played Summa by Arvo Pärt. This gentle piece was much appreciated by the audience.
King’s pupils who attended found the event fascinating and enjoyed the opportunity to play to a new audience.