Warwickshire Pride were inspired to hold their first Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) event on 27 January 2017 at Central Hall in Coventry. They teamed up with nearby friends Coventry Pride to host an evening of talks and performances to mark HMD and to remember the victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution of other groups, with specific reference to LGBT+ victims.
The event included a bespoke ballet and jazz dance piece from acclaimed street dancer Kian-Taylor Jackson, stories and songs from internationally renowned Yiddish singer Rachel Weston and a moving talk from Surat-Shaan Knan, founder of Rainbow Jews, who also spoke to attendees about a new oral history project, Rainbow Pilgrims. This project will discover the hidden history of LGBT+ migrants in the UK, from the first Kindertransport to Britain in 1938, right up to present day.
Daniel Browne, Chair of Warwickshire Pride said:
‘When the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust contacted me to explore the possibility of Warwickshire Pride hosting an event I realised how important it is to remember the LGBT+ victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. We were thrilled to join forces with our neighbouring Pride, Coventry, to put on a wonderful and important event for the community. The Holocaust is an awful period in history, in which many victims were LGBT+, so we intend to remember those victims with an evening of music, singing, dancing and storytelling.’