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An East End Remembrance

January 28, 2015
by the gentle author

Yesterday, Contributing Photographer Colin O’Brien & I joined the pupils of Morpeth School at the Alderney, Britain’s oldest Ashkenazi cemetery, for a remembrance upon the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. Around thirty senior pupils walked over from Bethnal Green to the cemetery for a modest service. Standing quietly in a semi-circle, they listened while a fellow student who had visited the camp recently gave a bare historical account of what took place there. Then four others read out survivors’ testimonies and there was a minute’s silence followed by the lighting of candles.

It was a group that was mixed in creed and race, yet united in respect as demonstrated by their uniformly subdued demeanour. In the minute’s silence, I looked around at the pupils standing in the January sunshine among the stillness of the tombs in this most ancient of graveyards. It was a welcome moment of peace upon an anniversary that only resonates more painfully in the light of recent violence in Europe.

Photographs copyright © Colin O’Brien

You may like to read more about Jewish Cemeteries in the East End

At The Velho & Alderney Rd Cemeteries

At Bancroft Rd Cemetery

9 Responses leave one →
  1. Jeannette permalink
    January 28, 2015

    thank you to the children for their love and respect.

  2. Melvyn Brooks permalink
    January 28, 2015

    I pray that this example of youngtsters will spread to all sectors of the British people so that none should be afraid to walk the streets and all can offer thanks in peace.
    Melvyn Brooks. Karkur Israel.

  3. Shawdiane permalink
    January 28, 2015

    Well done

  4. January 28, 2015

    “He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery!”


    Love & Peace

  5. Paul Shaviv / New York permalink
    January 28, 2015

    This is an incredibly powerful and moving post – a “still, small voice” in the middle of so much ugly noise. The pictures and the story speak for themselves (very powerfully). Thank you, and thanks to the school.

  6. Patricia Taylor permalink
    January 28, 2015

    Let there be many more meetings of different faiths and cultures so
    that we can fight bigotry and hate to others. We have street parties
    when there is a royal occasion to celebrate why not do the same
    in order to bring people from all cultures together so that they
    can learn that “they” are just like us under the skin.

  7. Sheree permalink
    January 28, 2015

    How very touching and wonderful,
    In our troubled times it is even more important to display tolerance, acceptance and remembrance. This occasion touched all of those.
    Carry on with your wonderful blog.

  8. Dylan Farrugia permalink
    January 28, 2015

    Thank you for the recognition, it was a pleasure to be a part of this act of memorial.

  9. Donald Carlton Burns permalink
    January 29, 2015

    Hope looms large. God bless.

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