Authoritarian governments and extremists of all stripes are responsible for widespread cultural destruction through terrorism, war, ethnic cleansing, and other forms of mass violence, of which book and library burnings are also a clear and prime example.
One way of making an ethnicity or culture disappear is to kill all its people; another one is to erase their past, their traditions, their culture, and replace them with the conquerors, which are considered to be better, more powerful, and even the only true ones.
To generate unity and loyalty among members of a group or nation, it is important to convince them that their group, dynasty, clan, religion, ethnicity, fraternity, political party, sports team, is better than the others. Taken to an extreme, this idea can lead to discrimination and even war and genocide. There have been book and library burnings since ancient times. Even though we might think they have been over for decades, they are still ongoing. This presentation will provide several examples and analyse the motivations for this symbolic act.
It is important to understand that what is at risk with book burning is the preservation and continuation of the common cultural heritage of the world, something that should be defended at all costs.
Spring is coming and, with it, one of the loveliest festivals of the Jewish year: Pesach. It is one of the three pilgrim festival when we come together to remember special times, to reflect on how precarious life can be, but, most importantly, to rejoice. The last time we came together in person to celebrate Pesach, however, was – would you believe it – four years ago. The first lock-down descended just days before the 2020 Seder. Pesach 2021 was definitely barred. How happy we were in early 2022 as our first face-to-face Seder since 2019 approached. Then disaster struck: several of our members caught Covid in the weeks leading up to the festival. So here we are a year later in 2023. This time we will prevail. We will throw off the bonds of slavery, sweep away the crumbs and the dust and the cobwebs lurking in the corners, and emerge into the light.
Pesach is a time to look inside our hearts and clear away a few dusty habits grown stiff with complacency. And it is a time to celebrate the great gift of freedom and the coming together of the people of Israel in a covenant with God. Our seder is a wonderful occasion for both children and adults.
The first night of Pesach this year will be on Wednesday, 5thApril and we will be celebrating in grand style. Who will find the afikomen this year? Do come and join us. It marks the beginning of our journey to the Promised Land. If you’re visiting Cornwall and interested in attending, please contact the chairman.
Torpoint Community College has told a distinctive story for Holocaust Memorial Day by mounting a moving project based on the life of Leon Greenman, a renowned Holocaust survivor and anti-fascist activist. Callington Community College and Camborne Science & International Academy have also mounted creative exhibitions.
1.Exhibitions: From Monday 23rd to Friday 27th January there will be a number of exhibitions in Truro Cathedral prepared by Devon and Cornwall Police, faith and minority groups and Cornish schools.
2. Holocaust Memorial Day Trust online event – Thursday 26 January 2023, 7pm. HMD is for everyone and, now more than ever, it is so important to come together to bear witness. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is here to make sure that everyone, regardless of age or background, remembers and honours those who suffered during the Holocaust, Nazi persecution of other groups and the genocides that followed. You can register to watch the Online Commemoration here: Holocaust Memorial Day Trust | HMD 2023 UK Online Commemoration
3. Falmouth and Exeter University Chaplaincy event – Friday 27 January, 10:30 a.m. – Peter Lahon Lecture Theatre In keeping with this year’s theme of ‘ordinary people’, Professor Adam Feldman will share the story of his mother’s lucky escape from Vienna in 1938. KK members are welcome. Full details here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/holocaust-memorial-day-talk-by-professor-adam-feldman- tickets-506104300587. For more details, contact Gemma at .
4. Key HMD Event – 27 January, 13:00 – Truro Cathedral Featuring a new video about Cynthia Holliinsworth’s family produced by Falmouth University; speeches by Cornish luminaries, including the Lord Lieutenant; candle lighting by Kehillat Kernow, the Cornwall Faith Forum, Cornwall Council, Falmouth University and other groups; the chanting of El Malei Rachamim; plus the new Schools Holocaust Education Project and the Yellow Crocus Project. The theme, as above, will be ‘ordinary people’.