‘We must not forget victims of Holocaust’

ISLANDERS gathered at the White Rock yesterday to lay wreaths and remember those locally who fell victim to the Holocaust.

Three separate memorials were visited by a small group as part of Holocaust Memorial Day.

The Dean of Guernsey, the Very Rev. Tim Barker, spoke at the event and invited people to take a moment of silence to pay their respects.

‘This part of our history is significantly different to other parts of the British Isles and we’re focusing on the need to remember,’ he said.

‘Because of Covid restrictions, we haven’t met in January for the past couple of years, we’ve instead met in April for Yom HaShoah, the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day.’

Three Jewish women living in Guernsey, Marianne Grunfeld, Theresa Steiner and Auguste Spitz, who were forced to leave the island during the Occupation and who died in Auschwitz, were commemorated.

Wreaths were laid by Deputy Bailiff Jessica Roland, Bob Place from the Royal British Legion, and the Channel Islands Occupation Society, among others.

Maisie Le Page came from Sark to lay a wreath at the plaque dedicated to islanders who defied the Occupation. (31744898)

The memorials for the Guernsey Eight, who carried out acts of protest, defiance and resistance in the island during the Occupation, and foreign labour forces were also visited and commemorated.

‘We honour those eight islanders who willingly stood up to the occupying forces,’ said Mr Barker.

‘A lot of the forced labourers came from Ukraine, Russia and other areas of Eastern Europe.

‘We have seen the horror, anger and distress that has been inflicted on the people of Ukraine this past year, but Russia and Ukraine were once side-by-side in the persecution experienced by the Nazi Regime.’

A service was held in the Town Church on Thursday evening, ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day.

The congregation heard music from local musicians and heard poems, as well as watching a film by the Holocaust Memorial Trust, which Mr Barker said was deeply moving.

‘It has given us a personal reflection for those who have been caught up in genocides within the last century, and the need to remember.

‘We cannot and must not forget.’

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