The wonderful guest speaker this year was the childhood survivor of 5 Nazi concentration camps, 90 year old Harry Olmer. I had tears in my eyes for much of Harry's speech. I also really appreciated the the wonderful moving music, songs and poetry of local Newham school children.
Democracy, free speech, decency, tolerance and respect for differences is so important and worth fighting for. Harry stood next to a man in a concentration camp who was shot dead by a Nazi for no reason other than that they were both Jews. He does not know why he survived and so many did not.
See Newham Council Press release below:-
"The victims of the Holocaust and other genocides across the world were remembered at a special event today (Friday 27 January) attended by Mayor Sir Robin Wales, and Holocaust survivor Harry Olmer. More than 400 people including schoolchildren and local residents attended Newham Council’s annual event at the Old Town Hall, Stratford, to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Candles were lit, a minute’s silence held and there was also a performance by Newham’s Every Child a Musician Orchestra.
As part of the event, 90-year-old Harry Olmer outlined his memories of the Nazi persecution of the Jews during the Holocaust and shared his experiences which included surviving five concentration camps – including Plaszow near Krakow which later became famous in the movie Schindler’s List. He was also forced to work in a munitions factory filling shells with explosives and last saw his mother and sisters after he, his brother and father were separated from them in 1942.