The King and The Queen Consort held an Audience at Buckingham Palace this morning to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, on the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Their Majesties received two survivors of genocide, and representatives of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, to hear about their experiences and the ongoing work to ensure the lessons of the past are not forgotten.
Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the lives of the six million Jewish people murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of others killed under Nazi persecution and during subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The King and The Queen Consort bore witness to the testimonies of Dr Martin Stern, who was taken to a Nazi concentration camp at five years old, and Amouna Adam, who grew up as a member of the persecuted Fur tribe and is a survivor of the genocide in Darfur, the 20th anniversary of which is observed this year.
At the conclusion of today’s Audience, The King and The Queen Consort joined Martin and Amouna in lighting a candle in remembrance of victims of genocide. This afternoon at 4pm, candles will be lit in windows across the United Kingdom to ‘Light The Darkness’, in a national moment of commemoration and solidarity.
His Majesty also sent a message to mark the day:
As Prince of Wales, The King became Patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust in 2017.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) promotes and supports Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD). HMD has taken place in the UK since 2001, with a UK event and over 10,000 local activities taking place on or around the 27th January each year. Each year across the UK, thousands of people come together to learn more about the past, honour the survivors and all those whose lives were changed beyond recognition, and take action to create a safer future. The HMDT works in partnership with many organisations to ensure the life stories of survivors are shared with hundreds of thousands of people.