Maybole Holocaust Memorial Day 2012
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Holocaust Memorial Day service at the Greenside

The 27th January 2012, Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) was marked in Maybole with a service at 11am at the Greenside organised by the local branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland. Fr Philip Kitchen is chaplain to the branch but was unable to attend and Rev Brian Hendrie led the service which was attended by local councillors, Adam Ingram MSP, local schools and members of the public.

The two Carrick Academy captains, Heather Kerr and Eilidh Blondin read Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous poem “First They Came”. They also outlined the main theme of the day which was Speak Up, Speak Out to create a safer, better future.

The theme asks everyone to think about the rights, responsibility and duty we all have to speak up when we see or hear something which we believe to be wrong. It challenges us to learn about what happens when we don’t speak out and what can happen when we do use our voice. HMD 2012 looks at how we make a choice when to speak up and considers the dangers in both choosing to speak out and not speaking up and asks us all to speak up against injustice and hatred today.

Piper Scott Barrie played the traditional lament.

First They Came - Pastor Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me


Click on the photos to view them full size or photos from observances in 2011  20102009, 2008, 20072006 or 2005.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2012

Everyone should have a fundamental Human Right to freedom of speech. Each of us has a voice and has the choice to use it. The choices we make in the words and language we use every day contribute to creating a safe and fair society. The right to speak up may seem an uncomplicated concept, but the Untold Stories of the past have shown us that voices have been taken away, and are ignored or still silenced today. Holocaust Memorial Day – 27 January 2012 – asks us all to Speak Up, Speak Out to share the lessons of the past and the present and to use our voices to create a safer and better future.

Under the Nazi regime of hatred (1933 – 1945), the voices of so many were taken away. During the Holocaust Jewish men, women and children were stripped of their right to speak up, to have their own home, to work, to own a radio, attend school and keep their own name, among other restrictions placed on them. Many other groups and individuals were persecuted by the Nazis. Trade Unions were disbanded removing the voice of workers, Gypsies were rounded up and sent to concentration camps, and those who spoke out against the regime were often imprisoned or murdered. During the genocide in Cambodia, ownership of a radio was made illegal, as it was for Jews under the Nazi regime. Time and again, in genocides in Rwanda, Armenia, Bosnia and in Darfur, people have had their voices taken away, others have not spoken up and lives have been changed beyond recognition.

Whilst these atrocities have taken place, many have stood idly by and did not speak out against persecution and discrimination. None of us know what we would do if we were faced with a life threatening decision, but we can hope that we will do what is right. Today, we can choose not to be a bystander. We can use the inspiration of those who have spoken up to help others in the past as our motivation to speak out today. We can all learn to use our voices to protect the Human Rights of all.

As the world focuses on the UK in the Olympic year of 2012, we must use our voices to speak up. Discrimination and exclusion are still rife in our communities, we hear of stories of atrocity across the world, yet some remain bystanders. Now it is time for us, irrespective of our background, to speak up for what we believe in, for what we understand to be right. Together, we can learn the lessons of the past to create a safer, better future. On HMD 2012 we must come together to Speak Up, Speak Out.