Tonight, the UK will remember the six million lives lost during the Holocaust.
January 27 is Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK, and to observe the occasion and ensure that prejudice and discrimination will not be tolerated, many London landmarks will be illuminating in purple tonight. As part of a national moment to #LightTheDarkness, buildings across town will be turning purple this evening – so if you’re out for your evening stroll, look to the skies for the illuminated tribute.
Holocaust Memorial Day falls on the date that, in 1945, Soviet soldiers liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where 1.1 million people (90% of whom were Jewish) were murdered under Nazi rule. It’s been a nationally recognised day in the UK since 2001, and this year, the theme is “be the light in the darkness”. 2021’s theme encourages us to identify the darkness of prejudice, hate, discrimination, and injustice, and to be the light that resists these.
— Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (@HMD_UK) January 27, 2021
The theme is the reason London’s landmarks will be turning purple tonight. Amongst the landmarks that are participating are Battersea Power Station – where the iconic chimneys will be lit up in purple – the Houses of Parliament, and the Sky Garden. All in all, over 30 landmarks across the country will be turning purple tonight, with a further 2000 billboards also lighting up. You can also take part at home; at 8pm, we’re being encouraged to safely place a candle in the window, both to remember those who were murdered, and to remind us to take a stand against prejudice today.
Before that, a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony will be streamed online at 7pm, with Naga Munchetty, Indira Varma, and Prince Charles all making an appearance. You can follow along here, and then join London’s landmarks and people around the country in lighting up the darkness.
Learn more about Holocaust Memorial Day, and join online events and activities to commemorate the day, here.
Also published on Medium.