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Dudley remembers the Holocaust at event

By James Vukmirovic | Dudley | News | Published:

A centre of learning became a centre of remembrance as the people of Dudley came together for a special service.

The Broadway campus of Dudley College was the venue for the 14th annual Holocaust Commemoration, a chance to remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides.

The event marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most infamous of the Nazi concentration camps where an estimated 1.8million people died between 1940 and 1945.

More than 400 people came to the college for the event, coming from local primary and secondary schools, colleges and from all over the local community.

The event was organised by former Dudley MP Ian Austin and Dudley College's Student Union with the support of the Holocaust Educational Trust and saw a large number of religious and civic figures in attendance.

The event featured a speech by a woman who survived the Holocaust and slave labour in Germany during the war

Mindu Hornick was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942 when she was just 12 years old, but survived along with her older sister Eva after a Polish prisoner advised the girls to lie about their ages and claim they were skilled seamstresses.

Although she escaped, she never saw her mother or two younger brothers again and spent the rest of war under slave labour conditions in a munitions factory in Bremen.

Now, the 90-year-old has been awarded an MBE for Holocaust education and gives talks to young people urging them to love one another and be more tolerant.

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Mr Austin spoke about what it meant to have Mindu speak at the event.

He said: "It's an amazing thing to have Mindu come here to give her perspective and experiences of Auschwitz and the Holocaust.

"Everyone who came today was very moved by her stories and it was important to hear from her about how we need to strong against racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism in today's society".

John Crabtree OBE, the Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, the Rt Rev. Dr John Inge, Bishop of Worcester and the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor David Stanley were among those who attended the event.

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It also saw a presentation from students at the college who visited Auschwitz with the Holocaust Educational Trust's "Lessons from Auschwitz" programme.

The event concluded with the ceremonial lighting of the Candle of Remembrance and a minute of silence to honour the victims of the Holocaust.

Mr Austin expressed his thanks to everyone who attended the event and spoke about the need to never forget about what had taken place in the past.

He said: "This event is the biggest event of its kind in the region and completely brings a different sense of perspective to the Holocaust as it makes people think.

"Having people listen is the most important thing as you can read books and watch TV about the Holocaust, but you never forget the experience when you're actually here."

James Vukmirovic

By James Vukmirovic
Community Reporter - @jamesvukmirovic

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Wolverhampton. Contact me at james.vukmirovic@expressandstar.co.uk.

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