In a moving ceremony, a holocaust memorial was unveiled at Christchurch Quay and a tree planted to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the terrible events of World War II.
The ceremony began with prayers from Rabbi Adrian Jesner from Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation and Revd Richard Partridge from the Priory Church. The Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Denise Jones, then talked about the holocaust and other subsequent genocides that have taken place.
She quoted a survivor of one of the camps who said: “We survivors do not want our past to be our children’s future.”
She went on to say: “We hear the statistics about the holocaust and the millions of people who were killed and ask ourselves ‘why did this happen?’ It happened due to the perpetrators not looking on the people they were killing as human beings because they were different from them and so they felt could do what they did without a conscience.
“It’s up to us to keep the memory of these events alive and always treat everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
The Mayor then planted a memorial tree with the help of two pupils from the Priory School, Mylo Adams and Orla Ring.
Present at the ceremony were two descendants from people who had been at Auschwitz. Bilha Weider’s mother, Lilly Ebert who is now in her late 80s, was on one of the last trains to transport Jewish people from Hungary. She and her two sisters survived.
Dr Josie Lipsith’s grandparents, Joseph and Henrietta Rosenberg were killed in the camp in 1942. Dr Lipsith’s mother, Yvette Gould, had been born in England when her parents had lived there so had a British passport. She was interned in a camp in Germany for four years during the war but her life was saved because of her British passport.