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Service held to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

A leading human rights campaigner led a joint service of remembrance in advance of Holocaust Memorial Day- which takes place on Friday 27 January.

Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost John Caldwell, Amal Azzudin and East Renfrewshire’s Provost Alistair Carmichael

Amal Azzudin– one of the Glasgow Girls who campaigned against the dawn raids, and the detention and deportation of asylum seekers in Glasgow– spoke at an event held in partnership by Renfrewshire Council and East Renfrewshire Council.

Amal Azzudin

The national theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘How can life go on?’, and focuses on the aftermath of the Holocaust and of subsequent genocides.

A string quartet made up of pupils from four Renfrewshire schools welcomed guests to the event at St Ninian’s High School which aims to educate schoolchildren on past atrocities whilst also giving an opportunity for remembrance.

Renfrewshire Schools String Quartet

The service also included a screening of the film ‘Learning from the Past’ which explains why we commemorate the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The poem Birdsong by Gillian Clarke was read by pupils of Paisley Grammar while Barrhead High pupils read First They Came by Martin Niemoller.

There were also performances by the East Renfrewshire Schools Orchestra which accompanied speeches by Provost Alastair Carmichael, Depute Provost John Caldwell and Ms Azzudin.

As part of the day of recognition Ms Azzudin visited both Linwood High and Barrhead High during the day to speak to pupils about her work with refugees and campaigning for social justice in Scotland.

Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost Caldwell said: “The service was poignant and educational for those in attendance of the horrors that our fellow humans have had to face.

“It is important that we remember the Holocaust, and all subsequent genocides, and try to learn from the mistakes that have been made to ensure that these events are not replicated in the future.”

East Renfrewshire’s Provost Carmichael said: “Holocaust Memorial Day provides each of us with an opportunity to learn the lessons of the Holocaust.

“It is a chance to remember, but also a chance to pass the lessons of the past to the next generation. As well as honouring those who lost their lives during these atrocities it is also about standing with survivors and showing our support.”