Photo: Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis with Jerusalem Channel Trustee Barbara Dingle

Jerusalem Channel Trustee Barbara Dingle attended the Foreign and Commonwealth’s Holocaust Memorial Day event today jointly hosted by the UK’s Foreign Office and the Embassy of Israel.

It was “one of those occasions, when one feels that one is on holy ground by divine appointment,” said Miss Dingle.

This special ceremony opened with poignant singing from a Jewish primary school choir followed by opening remarks by the Government’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust issues, Sir Eric Pickles, and Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, whose own father survived the Nazi regime.

Guest speakers included The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as well as other government ministers, diplomats and parliamentarians.

A 9- year-old Holocaust survivor, Gena Tugel MBE, gave a most moving and remarkable testimony of how she was herded naked into a gas chamber with hundreds of others at Auschwitz-Birkenau and yet, somehow she survived to walk out alive.

Posthumous “British Holocaust Heroes medals” were presented to family members of eight British citizens who saved Jewish lives during the war.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson read “the single most poignant and heart breaking” text from the Diary of Anne Frank.

Both Chief Rabbi Mirvis and Archbishop Welby spoke about the importance of words.   Words have power to create, power to destroy.  We are called by God not to accept a false witness.   Those who tolerate anti-Semitism are an integral part of the problem.

Kel Maleh Rachamim, a Jewish memorial prayer, was beautifully sung by a cantor following the lighting of a candle to remember the six million victims.

Holocaust Memorial Day is held every year on 27th January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.