Published on: Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Last updated: Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Lowestoft Railway Station will host a special Service of Remembrance on Monday 27 January to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and the role the town played 75 years ago in welcoming over 500 refugee children who arrived as part of the Kindertransport initiative.
The event will be proceeded by pupils from Ormiston Denes Academy performing a short promenade performance of the play Suitcase 1938 in the Parcels Office Exhibition Space.
Members of the public are invited to see the performance of Suitcase 1938 at 10am followed by the service and wreath laying ceremony at 10.30am in the presence of Mayor of Lowestoft, Cllr Alice Taylor.
Led by Ben Parish from Lowestoft Community Church, the service of reflection will feature readings and prayers and include a minutes’ silence and the laying of wreaths by the Mayor and members from Waveney Youth Council at the station, site of the arrival of a Kindertransport Train in December 1938.
The Mayor commented that “We want to remember and reflect that even in the darkest of circumstances, there are shining examples of what is best in the human spirit”.
The Kindertransport commenced in November 1938, when the British Government agreed to allow temporary admission for up to 10,000 unaccompanied children from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia who were at risk from the Nazis. Some 520 child refugees arrived at Lowestoft Central Station the following month. In all it is believed that 9,500 children came to the UK, hosted by foster families, hostels and camps, before the Kindertransport ended with the outbreak of war. The majority of the children saved never saw their families again.
Holocaust Memorial Day takes place annually 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust alongside millions of other people killed under the Nazi regime and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
The event at Greater Anglia Lowestoft Railway Station has been arranged by Lowestoft Town Council and supported by the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership and the Lowestoft Central Project who have made the newly restored Parcels Office available.