Vale of Glamorgan Council commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day
The Vale of Glamorgan Council commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day with a special event at Art Central, which is housing an interactive exhibition of historic information and art works on the subject.
Cabinet Members Cllr Lis Burnett, Cllr Kathryn McCaffer and Cllr Ben Gray were joined by Deputy Mayor Jane Norman and Council Managing Director Rob Thomas for an evening to mark the occasion.
Other guests included HM Lord-Lieutenant of South Glamorgan Morfudd Meredith, teacher and war artist Nicola Tucker, sculptor Dilys Jackson, wire artist Nina Lazaro, textile artist Judy Stephens, director Isaac Blake, colleagues from the Romany Cultural and Arts Company and pupils from Ysgol Bro Morgannwg.
On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the exhibition is a combination of remarkable real-life stories, including a first survivor’s testimony recorded in virtual reality.
The Girls of Room 28 is a remarkable survivor’s story, published by author Hannelore Brenner, telling the story of 15 girls who survived the Terezin concentration camp, four of whom are still alive today. After the war, they remained good friends and the exhibition is a testament to their survival.
Artist Dilys Jackson recalls her experience at Greenham Common in the early 80s through her art works, where 70,000 women (initially from Wales) peacefully protested against the Trident Missile entering the UK. The women suffered exposure to extreme and harsh weather conditions, separation from their families, and persecution by authorities, but stood strong against all odds and were ultimately successful in their quest.
Judy Stephens' Comfort Blankets. 'What to Leave... addresses the panic and fear a sudden enforced change can bring when people are made to flee their homes and personal safety nets are stripped away.
Nina Lazarou’s Lost since 1974 depicts the invasion of North Cyprus by Turkey. Along with 170,000 other Greek-Cypriots, Nina’s grandparents were uprooted and forced to leave their home, their life and their possessions.
Her grandfather, a blind man with a passion for playing the violin, hoped to one day return to the home he was forced to leave, but unfortunately never did.
The Fate of European Roma and Sinti during the Holocaust focuses on the estimated 500,000 European Roma and Sinti that were murdered during the Holocaust. Victims of racist persecution and genocide, their story remains largely unknown today.
The Last Goodbye takes us into the world of Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter. It describes Pinchas’ return to Majdanek Concentration Camp, where he lost his parents and twin sister.
Produced by USC Shoah Foundation, working with creators Gabo Arora and Ari Paitz, the viewer is immersed as Pinchas recounts his experience.
“I would urge anyone who has the chance to visit this exhibition, housed at the Council’s Art Central gallery.
“It highlights the plight of some of those that have stood together, uniting and responding collectively to oppression within their environment. It enables us to contemplate and reflect on an episode of history we must never forget.” - Cllr McCaffer, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Arts and Culture.
The exhibition is open until 3:30pm on Saturday, February 22.